Swifty Saturdays 2015

In 2015 I tried to do a weekly portrait of Taylor Swift along with some commentary on the fandom and my own place in it.
With the 2016 relaunch of this site I wanted to make sure I saved these posts…

Warning: Massive Page

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This is a new weekly post where not only will I be presenting new Swifty art but I’ll also be talking about being a fan, my experiences and other musings related to being a Swiftie.

I should probably start with why I’m a fan but I’ve talked about that before so (since I was reorganising my stuff recently) I decided I’d spend the first few weeks going through my growing collection of Swiftyness.

Part 1 – Magazines, Newspaper Clippings and Books.

I don’t think I really need much commentary here except to say I am definitely not the target audience for many of these magazines. A handful of these I purchased in the US on holiday a couple of years ago. Also I have a few more magazines with articles on the Sparkly One but I decided to just show her covers here.

Nonetheless here’s some of my stuff…

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20150103-144359-53039759.jpgNext week, part 2 – CDs, Vinyl and DVDs (maybe a bit more)

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Week two of the Swifty Saturday project and we’re gonna take another look in my collection.

Right now my laptop doesn’t have a working AC adaptor so I had to take a photo instead of scanning this week’s art.

Part 2 – CDs, Vinyl, DVDs and Tour Books

Like any good member of Team Swift I have the standard and deluxe versions of all Taylor’s CDs as well as both her EPs and the Hunger Games soundtrack.
Interestingly when I got the deluxe of her debut album the only place I could get a new copy was Amazon Japan so it includes a translation of the lyrics in Japanese.

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Even though I’ve never met Tay yet I have picked up a few signed CDs from either the online store or at her concerts.

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I don’t have a record player so I don’t own much vinyl.
There’s two copies of the RED bookzine edition (the UK and US versions).

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So far I’ve been to all three of her headlining tours and picked up the programs there.
The other two books I picked up online. The big one is an amazing photo book from the RED album shoot, I recommend it to any Swift fan.

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And last up are a couple of movies and a few of the unofficial documentaries that I’ve found over the years. To be honest the documentaries are pretty lame but at least they were cheap.

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Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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This week I’m taking a break from exploring my collection (still plenty more to go through) to instead do a “how to” on my art.

How I Colour Portraits

I’ll spare you the mess that is the drawing stage and start with the basic inks.

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First I start with the skin tones. Unlike my cartooning, when I do real people I use a wider mix of colours, combining two “shading families” the YR000 and E000 sets.

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I start by laying out the highlight areas in the lightest colours. For this stage you don’t need to be overly neat as you will cover the overflow with darker colours.

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Next I switch to some of the darker highlights, the blush tones. For this you have to be quick, laying down a dark shade (E01 in this case) and then colouring over the top to blend the colours. The slower you go the more it blends due to the alcohol markers.

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And then finish by blending and shading the rest of the skin mid-tones.

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Next the eyes.

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I start with a light base then a dark outline and some rough “spokes”.

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Over that I use the mid-tone to blend the spokes into a nice gradient.

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For the hair I start with the lightest colour and work my way up, saving the darkest colour for shadows. With hair I tend to use quick soft strokes to imitate the texture of hair.

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For lips I used two tones initially but added a bit of pinkish red to blend it a little darker.

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And to finish up with her sweater I decided to experiment with a blend of colours, hatching with the undercoat to create a texture.

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I finished off with the eye make up using a pair of earth tones before adding the eyeliner and lashes.

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Which brings us to the finished piece.

More next week.

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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I’m back with another Swifty Saturday… and all I can say is I pretty much blew it with this pic but at least I tried.

Well, after my deviation last time into my artistic process I’m returning to exploring my collection for what should be the third of five installments.

This time, miscellaneous items.

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Calendars are pretty much an essential, I don’t know if there were any official calendars before 2009 but I’ve gotten every one I could since I became a fan in 2008.
Content wise the calendars seem to alternate between random photoshoot pics and official album/promo photos, with 2013 being a standout as it used Taylor’s privately taken photos instead.

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Bags. Next to my hat and tees, these are the items that get the most use. Well not the 1989 ones yet but the other two.
The Speak Now tour bag I actually picked up at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville while I was on holiday, it was at the time that they were doing an exhibit on the Speak Now tour (the last day in fact) and after that I used the bag every day of my holiday so it’s a little scuffed and torn now.
The RED bag I also picked up in Nashville (same holiday as it was during the promo period for RED), this time at the airport before I flew to Orlando. I also picked up a bunch of tees there but I’ll talk about that next time. I used this bag on a cruise I took with mates last year.

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While I’m on the subject of bags, here’s a couple of merch bags. I don’t have one from the Fearless tour as I didn’t buy any merch that time (I already had everything). In fact I didn’t buy any merch these times either, instead my buddy Shepps bought me stuff to say thanks for the tickets.

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Towel. Not much to say about it, I haven’t used it because I don’t want to ruin it.

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Guitar picks. Sadly I haven’t managed to get any from Tay or the band at concerts yet but I did get a couple sent as surprises with purchases I made back when the US store shipped internationally (they used to send little extras with orders sometimes).
I think I’ve got picks for every era so far but I need concert picks for the self-titled and RED eras (ya know if anyone wants to send them my way).

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Cards. Most of these I picked up, yes, on my trip to Nashville.
The first one I got for xmas one year off friends, it’s actually a birthday card that used to play Fearless but the battery died.
The second is another random freebie, sadly not written on by Tay, it’s just a blank card, but still very much appreciated.

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Random stuff.
A cup, an ornament, iphone cover, lapel pins, stickers, a couple of singles I forgot to include on an earlier post.
At the top are the thank you notes from the special order packages for Fearless through 1989.
A few of the little things came in these packages, like the hair ties and keyring for 1989.
The lanyard I forgot to take with me on the cruise, which was probably a good thing as my buddy Russ lost his lanyard (along with four different pass cards).

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Concert stuff.
Glow sticks. I’m not gonna say anything more about those because some Swifties ruined them a little for me.
Concert tickets. The last two are in good condition because I was allowed to actually keep my own but the Fearless tour one they took our tickets and gave us random ones as we left, sadly this one is pretty faded.
Confetti! Three hearts from the Fearless tour, the shiny gold and silver from the Speak Now tour. Also you might be able to make out a little square white one which was the “snow” during Back To December on the Speak Now tour. I don’t have any confetti from the RED tour as I was in the stands not on the floor.
Drumsticks. I’m not sure where I got these so I just included them here.

Okay, next time it’s going to be clothing and accessories.

For now,
Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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My only comment about this week’s drawing is – I hate large amounts of black, it doesn’t colour well.

Anyway…

On with the show…

This time it is back into the collection with – Clothing and accessories.

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These are the earliest tees I have.
The top left (with the car) is the first official Taylor Swift tee released.
The other two on the top are the same design but (as the site said back then) t-shirt colour may vary, the pic on the site was a nice dark purple but I’m happy with what I got.
The grey one is kind of rare, made for the Rodeo Houston.
The white one is for her first mini-tour of Australia, which sadly I didn’t go to 😦

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Surprisingly I don’t have a lot from the Fearless era, mostly because a lot of the tees weren’t exactly made for adult males.
Fun note on the red tee here, I have a signed print of this photo that I got off my buddy Shepps a few years ago.

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The Speak Now era was the last era that the US Taylor Swift store shipped internationally so I got some good stuff.
The red tee was part of her charity “Speak Now Help Now” and all proceeds went to the charity, I have two of this one.
The “Mean” tee came as part of a package with the single and a signed framed print.

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Speak Now tour tees.
The army green and brown tees are two of my favourite tees ever. It probably helps that they’re less girly than the others.

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The RED era was a massive bounty for me in large part due to going to the US during the promotional period.
The WANEGBT tee in the middle, I think came with the pre-buy package for the album but I’m not sure.
The rest of these tees I picked up in Nashville at a mix of Walgreens, Target and (surprisingly) at the airport before I flew out to Orlando.

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RED tour tees.
These were my xmas present to myself in 2013, I bought them off the Aus store rather than at the concert so as to not be carrying a massive amount of merch.
A couple of the designs are the same as the last bunch but on the back is the tour dates.

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So far I only have one tee for the 1989 era but I’m sure I’ll add to that considerably by the end of the year.

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Winter wear.
Basically two hoodies and two long sleeve tees.
The grey hoodie is my fave, really warm and comfy because I bought a size larger.

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And what would winter wear be without scarves and glove.

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This hat is absolutely legendary, it has accompanied me on many adventures (such that they are) and most importantly I was sent it for free for being a valued customer.
That box is what the special edition of Fearless came in, now it houses all my wrist bands and such. I was going to photograph those but they are a bit of a tangled mess since half of them are leather tie bands.

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The perfume range, or as I prefer to call it the Swifty Aromatherapy set.
They all smell amazing.
My box for the original Wonderstruck is different to most because I snagged one with a display sleeve on it.
The big box is supposed to play music but mine has stopped working for some reason.

And finally…kind of embarrassingly…

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Girls’ shirts I accidentally bought due to not reading the descriptions.
The first two only stated youth size in the description, not in the size select where I saw L (for large) and clicked buy now dammit.
It’s really a pity, because if they were adult unisex sizes I would wear them constantly, they’re two of the coolest Swifty tees ever.
The Fearless tee actually came with the special edition and had the same “let’s leave the word youth off the sizing” problem as the others.

And that’s it for now.

Until next time.

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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I have to say that this is the pic that has pleased me most so far (if you ignore the poor colouring on her chest – large areas are a pain – and the ink smudge on her arm), certainly the best likeness so far.

So, anyway, here’s a second Swifty Saturday for today.

And we’re going into the final (for now) part of my collection – decor.

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First up blankets, I have the blankets for the first four albums.

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They’re pretty comfy and really good quality.
I will definitely get the the 1989 blanket when/if I can.

Next up prints, mostly signed ones.

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This one hangs above my desk where I draw and write and all that. I really should get a better fitting frame for it but I really can’t be bothered.

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This was the big item in the Speak Now pre-buy. The picture is for the title track and features Tay breaking up a wedding with all the key roles played by her band at the time (only three of them, sadly, are still touring with her).
I didn’t crop out the Disney print because, well, I like it.

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This is the Mean print I mentioned in the previous Swifty Saturday. It’s another really fun piece.

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I can’t remember if this is a photo from the Fearless or Speak Now tour but it is limited, numbered (115/300) and signed by both Taylor and the photographer Ash Newell.
It is a nice artsy shot but I do have to say Tay’s expression is a little weird.

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This one came with the RED pre-buy. It’s a nice piece but the autograph is on an insert rather than the print.

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This is one of my favourite pieces, it was my birthday present last year off of Shepps and Jenna.
The awkwardness of my photo here is due to it hanging in my hallway and I couldn’t get enough space to take a good shot.

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A few items I haven’t put up yet due to running out of hooks.
Starting at the bottom we have the flower print I mentioned last time, I got it for xmas a few years ago.
On the other side in the small frame is one I got for my 3oth birthday off Reillz.
In the middle, a nice canvas print, this one is also off Reillz and his girlfriend, last xmas.
Top left is the print for the 1989 pre-buy, keeping with the polaroid theme she gave the album.
And the last is a RED tour display, numbered 113/500.

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My absolute favourite item in my collection.
I picked up this signed microphone while I was on holiday in Vegas with my buddies.
I wasn’t going to get it because it was obviously quite pricey but then when I took my friends back to show them the store was having a 50% off sale so…
I spent a significant portion of my spending money.
Totally worth it.

I was going to include the 1989 polaroids but forgot them.

I was also going to include my posters but they are all tubes under my bed and I couldn’t be bothered to find them among all my other posters. Maybe some other time.

As a bonus, here’s my couch when it’s not being used to display things.

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Until next time.

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Well, today was Valentine’s Day in Australia (and is now around the world because, you know, time zones) and since it falls on a Saturday it seems only appropriate to talk about Taylor Swift and love.

No not my whopping great big fanboy crush. That would be annoying to everyone.

No instead I’d like to talk about the love that Taylor has for others, most specifically her fans. I have personally been a fan since 2008 and while a lot of things have certainly changed in that time one thing that never has is her love for her fans. If anything that love has grown of late.

Unlike so many of her peers in the music industry who place a firm line between fans and friends, many going to the point of charging fans for meet and greets at their already sold-out shows, Taylor has always made it a point to embrace (literally and metaphorically) her fans at every opportunity.

On every tour she has headlined so far there has been an after-concert get-together with twenty or thirty fans selected from the crowd by people Taylor trusts (often including her parents). These aren’t just the fans in the expensive seats, they are chosen from just about anywhere in the audience, chosen for their enthusiasm or other qualities that Taylor’s team thinks Tay will enjoy meeting them for.

But that’s just the beginning. That’s the part that cynical people could say is “just for show”.

Over the years however there has been countless stories of Taylor being out and about when she spots a fan (whether it be someone wearing a TS tee or talking excitedly about her) and, rather than acting the aloof superstar, she will literally chase them down to hug them, take a photograph, chat with them and thank them for their support. Even now when she is the biggest name in music she continues to interact with her fans in such an enthusiastic loving way.

To say nothing of the amount of time she dedicates to visiting sick fans in hospital, for every news story about one of her hospital visits there are ten more you only hear about within the fandom. This is the girl who will go for a one hour visit and stay all day. She will leave the building after many hours, so emotionally exhausted you couldn’t imagine she could ever do it again only to hear a week later she has visited another hospital.

Taylor gives so much of her heart to her fans that it’s actually quite surprising she has enough space in there.

Then over the last couple of years she has extended that love to reaching out to her fans via social media, first on instagram and now on tumblr, to comment on fans photos, share their stories and comfort them in their saddest times.

And in the last six months she has been pushing that fan interaction to the extreme, whether it be by organizing the secret listening sessions at her houses prior to the release of her smash hit album 1989 or by the Swiftmas and Valentines gift packages she has sent to dozens of her fans.

Taylor Swift, superstar pop princess, not only continues to show so much love for her fans but continues to find new ways to express it.

And while she can’t possibly reach out to every single one of her millions of fans, while I may never be one of those lucky ones (and while I watch many other swifties bemoan this fact), I can not possibly be jealous of those she does reach out to because just watching her bring so much joy and love to these people’s lives reminds me every day how lucky I was to find someone like her to admire.

Even if I never get to experience the love, I know that I, like millions of others, hold a very special place in Taylor’s heart.

So even though I may be alone today, I certainly have a Valentine in Taylor Swift.

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Well after last week’s effort this portrait is pretty dreadful but, hey I’m trying.

Anyway… on to this weeks blog.

The Fan I Am and the Man I’m Trying To Be

As I approach my birthday it’s not unusual for me to get a little introspective. The older you get the more you think about your life, past mistakes and future goals clash inside your mind. And for me that leads to a lot of thinking about who I am and who I want to be.

The question of who I am is one that is kind of intrinsically linked to the kind of fan I am.

And the answer is – different.

Since this is a Swifty Saturday, naturally I’m talking about my place in the swiftie fandom. I suppose I should, for those who don’t already know, say I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift since I first saw her performance of “Should Have Said No” at the 2008 ACMs. At the time I was at the worst point of my depression and, although the depression will always be with me, her positive influence has helped incredibly. Not only has my outlook on life become more positive but I have felt encouraged to be more social and confident.

This story, my story, is not different to that of many other swifties. If you browse any social media for swifties you will find hundreds of others who will their stories of how Taylor has changed their lives for the better.

But once you get beyond the story of how Taylor came in to my life you’ll find that I am a very different kind of swiftie. Not just because I’m a decade older than most of them but also in the way that I behave and show my adoration for the Sparkly One.

A lot of it can be linked back to the insecurities and uncertainties that come bundled the depression and some of it comes from my desire to be a certain kind of person.

In the last couple of years, and certainly over the last few months, as Taylor has become more active among the fandom on social media I have also tried to become more active but the thing is, despite having such a massive influence in common, I really don’t fit in that much.

Being older than most swifties I interact with it at times feels as if I speak a different language, let’s be honest internet slang is not my forte, but the other things that make me (feel, at least) different from my fellow fans are things that kind of separate me from all other fans.

I’m an introvert and a dreamer, a person who spends a lot of time inside his own head, which is a great trait for a creative person but not so much for a fan.

I watch on twitter and tumblr as every time there is an event or appearance or release from Taylor the fandom becomes a squee-filled hive of excitement. There is the posting and reposting of first pics and then edits and quotes of interviews as every swiftie rushes forth to show how much of a fan they are.

And now with the tumblr situation there is also the desperate pleas for attention, the cries of “notice me”, cries I admit that I have made in my own small way.

But mostly when a Taylor event happens the most I’ll do is send her a tweet and then sit back to watch her proudly in whatever endeavor she is currently undertaking.

As the fandom in these times becomes a flurry of blogs and reblogs I find myself only “liking” the posts I see only responding when I feel I have something worthwhile to say rather than adding my voice to the crescendo of “OMG she’s so amazing” that other fans create. Believe my I love to see the excitement of my fellow swifties (or any fans in general), it is incredibly encouraging to see so many people saying positive things.

But when I think about the way I am as a fan I wonder if I am, as I have been accused in the past, “not a real fan”.

For anyone who knows me (or even knows of me) the idea is absurd, of course I’m a real fan. You don’t dedicate this much time to something you don’t really like.

But I have to acknowledge I am a different kind of fan and certainly a different kind of swiftie.
I don’t post and repost and like and fave all the pics and gifs of every appearance Taylor makes.
I don’t post cute selfies and adorable stories about my life in an attempt to get Taylor’s attention.
I don’t OMG and lose my “chill” over every little thing that Taylor does.
And I don’t automatically love every single thing that Taylor declares in interest in, whether it be a new song or food or actress or whatever.

I am just me.

I don’t feel the need to prove how big of a fan I am by constantly bringing her up in conversation or by posting selfies with her albums or by making a clever username out of her lyrics or quotes.

I think that it should be enough to just really love and admire and be incredibly fascinated by the amazing person that is Taylor Swift.

It should be enough to just be me.

And that there is really the thought that has been occupying my mind lately, not just about my place in the fandom but also my place in the world. It should be enough to just be me, to be the man I am and the man I am trying to be.

Over the last year or so I’ve really been trying to embrace the idea of being me, even with my insecurities and flaws, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve looked at my dreams of making a career out of my writing and my art and wondered if they are just pointless daydreams. I’ve watched as the reality of my completely average life has made me feel hopeless. And I’ve looked at myself and wondered if I am just completely worthless.

But I’ve realized it IS enough to be me.
Me, is someone I should be proud of.
Creative, dorky, dreamer, me.

And maybe if I can start to be proud of me, maybe I’ll grow confident enough to actually make my dreams a reality. Maybe if I can become proud of myself then someday I’ll be someone that Taylor (and the many others who have helped and inspired me) can be proud of too.

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Okay, for anyone who’s seen the photos, there was no way in hell I was gonna try and draw the pattern on this dress.

Anyway…

I can’t think of a topic this week, there were a lot of things I was thinking about writing due to certain situations in the fandom but instead I’m choosing to say only this.

Taylor Swift, you are loved. By so many and in such magnitude. Never forget that.

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I like how this pic turned out, so that’s a good start.

And on to the talky part…

Taylor in Other People’s Music Videos

After the last few weeks in the fandom I wanted to talk about something fun and there’s a lot of fun to be had when you look at some of the music videos Taylor has appeared in for other artists.

Bring on the videos…

This pretty funny music video for Brad Paisley’s “Online” was filmed while Taylor was on tour, opening for Brad along with her friend Kellie Pickler, the girls appear at the 3:45 mark dancing on stage with actor Jason Alexander. As I’m sure you know, anytime you get Taylor dancing it leads to joy and it certainly doesn’t hurt to have Kellie there too.
And speaking of Kellie Pickler.

Kellie opened for Taylor on the Fearless Tour and during that time she learned her boyfriend had been cheating on her so, with some help from Taylor, wrote this wonderful little song.
The music video is one of my favorites, partly because it is a funny little narrative of this guy who chose the wrong girl and partly because of Taylor mugging it up for the camera as part of Kellie’s band. Plus a little reaction towards the end.

Now not as amusing as the previous ones but definitely worth a watch is Taylor’s collab with B.O.B on “Both of Us”. I’m not much for rap (especially modern rap) but I do like some of B.O.B’s work as he tends to have something to say rather than the usual “bitches and money” bragging of other rappers.
As for this music video, it is a rather beautiful look at Nashville through the lives of everyday citizens. With, of course, Taylor and B.O.B scattered among the other clips. Taylor herself wears many different looks and emotions in this video.

Okay now’s the big one, her collab with Tim McGraw (and Keith Urban) on “Highway Don’t Care”. This is an amazing song in which Taylor sings the hook and some backing vocals but the best part is the music video. This is a very powerful video which I suggest you watch for yourselves. Taylor’s appearances in the video are rather ethereal as she plays her part as the “song on the radio” while the events play out.
On a side note, this video makes me wish for a Tim McGraw led TV show spin-off.

I think that’s all the collab videos Taylor has done so I’m gonna leave things here.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Okay, I’m going to point out the obvious here and say that never (to my knowledge) has Taylor worn a Supergirl costume, this was just an idea I had for something fun to draw…

…and okay, I’d love to see Swifty in a Supes costume, or maybe Stargirl (what with the crop top thing).

Anyway… on to the blog.

Or actually just an anecdote this time. This is just something really cool to know about Taylor. I’m sure most people are by now aware of how much Tay does for charity and how often she visits/reaches out to sick fans. Barely a week goes by without some kind of story along those lines.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that on her RED tour, in the US anyway, she visited a Children’s Hospital (or ward) in EVERY city she played. This didn’t get much notice at all because Taylor specifically asked the hospitals not to say anything about it. The only “publicity” for her visits came from the social media of the children and their families.

Now, there are a lot of celebrities that visit sick children, not all of them do it for the publicity but so many only do it for the press. So when, arguably, the biggest name in music goes out of their way to make it solely about making the children happy, well, that’s pretty damn amazing.

Who needs superheroes when we’ve got people like Swifty.

until next week

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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I miss her long hair, that’s all I’m going to say…

And I really didn’t think of anything to write this week, I’ve been busy, okay.

Okay, how about this, the first time I saw Taylor live was the Fearless tour in Brisbane, it was her first stop on the Australian leg of the tour and also the first time she played “Today Was A Fairytale” live.

Here’s a video (not mine, just found it on youtube):

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Big 80s rock chick hair from the iHeart awards.

So anyway onto this weeks blog, I’ll try to keep this calm and subtle…

Taylor followed me on tumblr!!!

So yeah, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, Taylor has been really active among the fandom since she joined tumblr last year and finally it was my turn to get noticed, although sadly no comments/likes as yet.

Here’s the story of how I found out Swifty is following me and my reaction.

I was just about to leave work on Monday morning, I had a few minutes left and was topping up the coldroom while I checked my socials. Since I don’t have a smart phone I was using my ipod and the store’s free wifi, which is very limited and cut out on me right as I was trying to confirm that the notification was really from Taylor. In the past I had been trolled by a fake Swifty on instagram so I was reluctant to believe what I was seeing was real and without any more bandwidth I now had to wait twenty minutes until I got home to check it out properly.

Still, when I saw it on my computer screen, I didn’t quite believe it. I even went as far as to copy her url into word and change fonts to see if someone had done that thing where you substitute similar looking letters/numbers/symbols to fake a url but, thankfully, it was authentic.

And that’s when I went from uncertainty to shock. Without a comment/like I had no idea why she decided to follow me, the last few posts I’d made did not seem all that noteworthy. A tumblr buddy suggested that it’s because I’m always trying to help out other Swifties, maybe that’s the case, I don’t know.

What I do know is that the next stage in my reaction was…
Bawling like a little fangirl (no offence to fangirls), I was still in that state of shock when I saw one of my tumblr buddies post about it being two months since Tay had followed them and when I started to comment back that Taylor had followed me I just lost it. When I typed those words I think the reality of the situation finally hit home and I just cried happy tears.

So that’s the story for now.
I may not have painted the coolest picture of myself but I’m not embarrassed, Taylor has brought such a positive influence to my life so of course I’m going to be excited by the idea that she, at least in some small way, wants to know me too.

until next time

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Another 80s-esque look from her Swiftyness. This time the 2014 ACMs I believe.

This week, due to the news of Taylor’s mum’s cancer diagnosis (which she is totally going to beat), I’d like to share a small story of my only minor encounter with Mama Swift herself.

I remember at the Fearless tour, the guitar tech was carrying one of Taylor’s guitars through the crowd to the B stage and accidentally smacked me with it. The tech didn’t stop to say sorry or ask if I was okay but this blonde woman following a little behind him did.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later I realized it had been Mama Swift.

(I was a little too focused on Tay herself onstage okay)

I wish I had recognized her, even if just to say thank you for raising Swifty to be the wonderful woman she already was back then.

And I hope I get the chance to thank her some day.

until next time
Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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A “vintage” Swifty look this week, from the 2008 ACM Awards which, coincidentally is where she did the performance of “Should Have Said No” that was my gateway into the world of Swiftyness.

And since that event is coming up again this weekend I thought this would be appropriate.

It’s kind of amazing to realize that so few years have really passed since Taylor first came into my life, sometimes it really does feel like she has been there forever (which is admittedly a weird way to talk about someone who is in reality a stranger). In the years since she came into my life things have certainly got better for me, if still nowhere near the life I hope for. My outlook on life and, more importantly, the way I think about myself has improved. While my career/life goals still allude me I don’t find myself quite as hopeless about my future anymore.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Back into the superhero closet this week with Wonder Swifty.

Note: my lines are pretty shaky on this one due to some hand issues, namely my hands are shit.

Just a pic this week, no blog, it’s been a difficult week.

Here’s a video for y’all to enjoy:

Sometimes we all just need a little of the gorgeous goofball to cheer us up.

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More cartoon than portrait this week (which places it firmly in my skill level).
My best representation of one of Swifty’s outfits from her just launched 1989 World Tour.

And since it’s a tour edition, I thought I’d share…

Tour Memories

Fearless Tour
The first Taylor Swift tour I went to left me with a few fun memories.
Biggest among them (besides seeing Her Royal Goofballness of course) was the point when my buddy Shepps and I started a massively long “Tayla! Tayla! Tayla!” chant (Aussie accent).
Another highlight was actually after the concert when we were walking back to the car and a girl shouted out “I love you Taylor!” To which I responded “No I love her you just like her a lot!” People laughed, thankfully.
A less fun but definitely amusing moment was Shepps shouting out “Robbo!” at random moments. If you see any videos from the Fearless Tour in Brisbane and you hear “Robbo!” I apologize on my buddy’s behalf.

Speak Now Tour
This was an amazing tour, my favourite so far, but I don’t have a lot of memories from it because of the one big one…
Taylor touched me, she held my hand for a couple of seconds as she was making her way back to the main stage.
Also good was being really close to the B Stage and when she flew right over me during Love Story.

RED Tour
Anyone who went to the RED Tour in Brisbane knows the biggest memory was when there was a stage breakdown and Taylor came out to speak to the audience, proving once again that she is a truly class act.
But for me and Shepps it was a little more amusing. See, one of her opening acts was Guy Sebastian, a popstar that neither of us like so we were making jokes, including some about him breaking the stage.
So naturally our first reaction when Taylor came out to say the stage broke was absolute laughter.

and here’s to memories yet to come on the…

1989 World Tour
December 5 Brisbane

Hopefully this year will be the one when Taylor gives me the ultimate memory when we finally meet and I get the chance to tell her just how much she has changed my life for the better, the chance to tell her about my stories and the chance to give her a lot of art she has inspired.

until next time
Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Okay, sometimes blending skin tones is a disaster…

Anyway on to my ramblings…

Today Swifty performed her tour at the Rock In Rio festival in Las Vegas. It had been advertised that her set (like all the others performing) would be livestreamed however several hours before the festival Yahoo Music had to make a retraction for reasons that as yet are unclear.
In the wake of the announcement the fandom went absolutely nuts. Many fans not understanding the situation and looking for someone to blame – with a small but vocal section being rather hateful towards Taylor, her team and her label.

And that vocal minority can politely go fuck themselves.

I want to talk about how awesomely supportive the Swifties generally are.

Firstly, a few of my tumblr buddies were going to the concert and hoping very much to meet Taylor. Many of the other Swifties reblogged and gave shout outs and did everything they could to help these people get noticed by Tay so, when the pics showed up after the concert, it was an awesome feeling to watch all these people come together to help their fellow Swifties finally meet Her Sparkly Goofballness.

Secondly, for the last few weeks I haven’t been in the best place mentally or emotionally to the point that it has been really impacting my work (you may have noticed the severe lack of akaScoobyverse updates) and had generally left me feeling like shit. I expressed some of this on tumblr and the support from my buddies in the fandom was beautiful, I often have trouble talking about my depression with friends or family so to have this kind of support externally was fantastic.

Thirdly, on a similar note, one of the biggest Australian Swifties has been the target of a lot of hate and bullying of late. Being much more popular than me it shouldn’t be too surprising to say that she also got a massive amount of support from the fandom.

The Swifties are like most fandoms, they have their good and their bad. In times when the bad starts to peek out it is important to remember that the good far, far outweighs any negatives.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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I’d be lying if I said I don’t miss the long hair…

…but if you’ve seen my akaScoobyverse art (which you should have if you’re on this site 🙂 ) then you’d probably have noticed I like long hair, even many of the guys have long hair.

So…

…anyway, on to the rambling.

Actually I have nothing to say this week.

Taylor has been kicking arse on her 1989 Tour, meeting a ton of amazing Swifties as usual. It is something very incredible that even after all these years, with all the fame and fortune, Swifty continues to meet her fans for free. Especially as I have witnessed many other popstars who are only on their second year already charging a lot for a very controlled photo-op/meet-and-greet. It is one of those rather small things that add up to make Swifty one of the most wonderful people in the world.

Hmm… looks like I had a little to say after all.

Anyway, just in case you have yet to see it (shame on you), here is Taylor’s Bad Blood music video…

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Combining two of my loves again…

Anyway, on to the ramblings…

“And for once it might be grand, to have someone understand.”

Those lyrics come from Belle (reprise) in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and they are quite possibly one of the lyrics I identify with most in any song. They are words that perfectly describe what I am looking for in another human being.

Someone who understands me.

And right about now you are probably expecting me to connect this to my whopping great big fanboy crush on Taylor.

But you would be wrong.

Instead I would like to talk about why I think Taylor has done so well in her career. Quite simply (and obviously) it is because she understands. From the very beginning Swifty has managed to find a connection with her fans.

Despite different ages, different backgrounds, different experiences, different lives. Taylor’s fans have found themselves drawn to the emotional truth in her lyrics and, more importantly, the candid honesty in her interviews/statements. All one has to do is read any of the comments Swifty has left on her fans’ social media to grasp why her fans feel this strong connection, it’s not the inauthentic actions of PR prompting but rather a very real person being very honest with their thoughts.

She understands.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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I can’t remember what event this is from, I just liked the sort of quizzical expression.

This week here’s a couple of old videos (I’m not being lazy, I’m busy, okay)…

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I really like this one to be honest.

Anyway…

On to the blog thing.

This week I’m just gonna leave you with a quote from the Sparkly Sweetie herself:

“A couple of years ago every single magazine and newspaper thought it was cool to say things about me that weren’t true and things about me that were mean and things I couldn’t correct them on, but YOU did. And I just want you to know that I’m never going to forget what you did. That you showed up for me when my hands were tied behind my back and I couldn’t say anything to fight back, you fought back and you kept showing up and kept filling stadiums and here we are. And in those years while you were sticking up for me I was writing a new album called 1989. And I moved to New York City and I spent a lot of time by myself and I spent a lot of time with my friends and I cut my hair short. And one day I took a trip to London and I went to the house and artist I really love, her name is Imogen Heap. And I told her what my life had been like for the last couple of years and I played her this idea for a song, and once we wrote the song the album was done, and the name of that song was ‘Clean’”

That little intro describes the relationship between Swifty and the fandom wonderfully.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Okay, so in the original reference pic I used Taylor had her arm holding her hand above her head (holding onto the backdrop I think) but since the hand I drew looked completely ratchet I changed it to more of a selfie type pose.
Which I think works.

This week I’m going to skip out on the ramblings and instead, due to current comments and discussion (in both the media and fandom) about Swifty’s changing level of performance, here are the concert MVs for her previous tours.

Enjoy…

If you want to check out the 1989 Tour (until the MV comes out) you can go do a youtube search, I’m not going to post any fan videos here due to the copyright issues.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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I may have gone a little too tanned on Swifty’s abs here…

Anyway, on to the ramblings…

And this is one that may piss off some of my Swiftie buddies. Generally I tend to steer clear of any unpopular topics because the deeper some people get down the rabbit-hole that is any fandom the more they tend to take any criticism or difference of opinion personally.

And no place more in fandom behviour is this more evident than Shippers.

For those of you who don’t know what Shippers are, firstly you are so lucky, and secondly let me explain. Shippers are a subset of fans who obsess over their chosen relationship – known as a Ship or often OTP (one true pairing).

Now I should point out that there is a significant difference between fans who support/like a particular pairing and actual shippers. Shippers often will obsessively pore through the work for any “evidence” that supports their ship, this evidence generally reeks of confirmation bias, and they will aggressively defend their ship in the face of any criticism even if it comes from the creator of the characters.

Shippers are in almost all fandoms and are often among the most vocal and offensive of fans. A perfect example of this is the the Harry Potter fan who tried to send a mail bomb to JK Rowling after Harry ended up with Ginny instead of Hermione, “sinking” the fan’s ship.

A sad reality is that many writers and creators end up receiving significant amounts of hate based around the shipping aspect of their works. It is pretty disrespectful when you really think about it.

And by this point in my ramblings you are probably wondering what any of this has to do with Taylor Swift, well, that’s where it goes from disrespectful to down right disturbing. Because shipping isn’t just for fictional characters anymore…

Yep, there are fans shipping real life people, sometimes in actual relationships but quite often just their own ideal imagined pairings, and they are just as virulent about their shipping as those of fictional ships.

Personally I think the blame for this development is three-fold. Firstly we have the media reducing celebrity couples from two individuals to a single name (Brangelina, Bennifer, etc). Secondly the internet has changed being part of a fandom, making it less a single interest and more the entirety of the fan’s existence (but that’s an essay for another day). Thirdly, since a large part of the shippers are teenage girls, there is definitely an amount of living vicariously through their idol.

But I still haven’t gotten to my point in regards to Shipping in the Swiftie fandom.

And that point is it needs to stop.

Taylor has made herself very clear that she doesn’t like people accusing her of dating her friends (or even talking too much about her real love life). And while the fandom will mercilessly attack any tabloids that start false rumours about Taylor’s relationships many fans have no problems actively discussing her love life (sometimes in gratuitous detail) or shipping her with her various friends.

The irony and hypocrisy of the situation is either completely lost on them or just plain ignored.

Currently in the fandom there are four major ships:
Tayvin – which is Taylor and her current boyfriend Calvin. This ship seems mostly defensible and many who say they ship the relationship actually just support Tay and aren’t really shippers.
Sweeran – this is a long running one for Taylor and Ed Sheeran. These shippers have mellowed out in the last year or so as they’ve realized that, yes, men and women can be close friends without being romantically involved. As such this ship has become more of a cute puppy-love friendship thing.
Haylor – which is Taylor and her ex-douchebag Harry Styles (okay I’m gonna get hate for the douchebag thing). This ship was inadvertently revived by comment Taylor said to a fan about the relationship. Suffice to say it seems clear to anyone with a little experience that she said the nice things to spare the fan’s feelings and not cause trouble with the overlapping fanbases.
Kaylor – which says Tay and her bestie Karlie Kloss are secretly lovers and their respective boyfriends are just beards. Now if you’ve read my stuff (and you should if you’re on this site) you know I support gay rights so I would have no problem with this ship becoming  a reality. However this ship has become the most delusional and aggressive, as it’s supporters simply can’t tell the difference between friendly behaviour and romantic behaviour.

And lately there has been a lot of hostility brewing in the fandom between these ships (well not so much Sweeran) which really needs to stop before it causes the next big fandom fight. I think all these shippers would do well to remind themselves that these are real people that they are talking about, again often in intimate detail, and they deserve a little more respect. I think it’s time that the shippers took a step back from the fandom and broadened their lives a little.

We don’t like it when the tabloids discuss Taylor’s love life, real or rumoured, so why do we tolerate it from the fandom?

*sigh*

I don’t want to leave my readers thing that the Swiftie fandom is a massive angry mob so let me say that these shippers are just a small but vocal part of what is otherwise a very loving and supportive fandom filled with fun and creative people. Most of the fandom tries to live up to the ideals set by Taylor herself and I think that’s a pretty worthy goal.

But since I’m on the subject of Taylor and her love life I’d like to repost something I wrote on tumblr today:

“It would take an astonishing human being for me to even consider getting back into a relationship.”
– Taylor Swift, People magazine

I want to talk about this quote and the one amazing thing people seem to miss.
An astonishing human being did make Taylor consider getting into a relationship and that person was…

Taylor Swift.

The thing most people never realize in life is that the only person who can change you, for better or worse, is yourself.
And, while I’m sure Calvin is a perfectly nice bloke, I think it is a shame that most of the fandom isn’t recognizing that it was Taylor herself who found the strength and courage to face her own fears and insecurities.
All through the interim period before 1989 and since the era began we’ve watched Taylor grow in amazing bursts as she has found happiness in her own life, she has found confidence in her own mind and she has found bravery in her own heart.

Taylor Swift is one hell of an astonishing human being.

And I think we owe her that credit.

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Once again we’re going into the superhero cosplay territory with Stargirl/StarSwifty (I dunno)…

Stargirl is one of my favourite superheroes, not just because she’s a cute blonde in a crop top, but because she actively chose to be a superhero. She wasn’t forced into the hero life by superpowers or a tragic backstory, she saw something she wanted to do with her life and she chased that dream.

And when I think about it that’s a pretty good message, if there’s something you want to do with your life, go for it.

I don’t think I need to write about Taylor this time, you can draw the parallels yourself.

so, until next time

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Continuing on the cosplay kick, here’s Cat(Tay)woman.

And since I am ridiculously sick at the moment I’m gonna skip any ramblings or commentary this week.

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Because these superhero Swifty pics are both fun and popular I’m gonna continue.

This week Power Girl, because I’ve been reading Amanda Conner’s Power Girl book, although it is one superhero role I wouldn’t recommend Taylor for (for a couple of obvious reasons).

until next time…
Live Love Laugh
Rob

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Honestly if I keep this up I may have to retitle these posts as SuperSwifty Saturday.
This week we have Jesse Quick, a more obscure superhero from DC Comics, one of the many speedsters in their roster and later known as Liberty Belle after her mother’s superpowers manifest in her.

Not my best resemblance to Taylor, especially after the last few weeks, but I like this piece anyway, there’s something about the expression that just makes it stand out among my other works.

until next week
Live Love Laugh
Rob

ps there will be actual akaScoobyverse updates in the next few days, I promise…

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This week, Swifty comes in like a lightning bolt as Mary Marvel or Shazam or whatever DC is calling her now.

There’s actually a pretty interes…. no make that confusing history behind why there are DC characters with the Marvel name.

And you should thank me for sparing you from it.

Anyway…

What’s been going on in the Swiftyverse lately?

Nine VMA nominations and a sudden (but not unexpected) switch in media/public opinion.

Because let’s face it, people just aren’t fucking happy unless they’re tearing others down for no better reason than envy.

But we’re not gonna care about that. Haters gonna hate and all that jazz.

If you are in the US please go to MTV.com and vote for Swifty.

until next time
Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

(I’m off to colour some comic pages…)

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This week she’s outta this world as Saturn Girl of the Legion of Superheroes, a superhero team in the 30th century who were inspired by Superman.

No commentary this week, except to say I wish I could publish a book of my Superhero Swifty pics, maybe someday I’ll get the chance to ask her for permission.

until next time

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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This week Swifty suits up as the sonic songbird, Black Canary.

For the non-comic-dorks reading (firstly, thank you) Black Canary is a DC character with supersonic vocals called the Canary Cry which she can use to incapacitate her foes. We’re basically talking about a character who can use a power note to kick ass.

And if you’ve ever been to a Taylor Swift concert, or seen her perform, you’ll have no doubt noticed that Swifty is quite fond of belting out the power notes herself (some, including Tay herself, call them high notes but they’re not), typically with a signature head back, mic up pose which hopefully you’ll recognize in some of the following videos I found on youtube:

Until next time

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Not my best likeness (a little too comic book) but it’s hard at this scale…. for me at least 😦

Zatanna is DC Comics’ “Mistress of Magic”, the daughter of the legendary magician Zatara, she is capable of amazing feats of magic with just her words.

Which kind of makes here a nice fit for Taylor, who is also capable of great magic with her words.
However with Taylor it’s not so much making things disappear or pulling rabbits out of a hat.
No Taylor’s magic is the ability to heal emotional scars, the ability to touch the heart and soul of her listeners.

Swifty is someone who truly knows the value of words and is able to contort and utilise the english language in a very impressive way. In her songs she can express the heartbreak of loss, the bittersweetness of growing up, the anger of betrayal, the strength in forgiveness and so much more. For years now her words have connected with not only her main demographic but many people outside of that target range. Older women, men, people who hate pop-music, people who hate country, people from all social backgrounds have found themselves touched by the well-spoken truth and honesty of her songs.

But the power of her words goes beyond merely her music.
It is in the way she is able to control interviews, the way she chooses exactly what to say, carefully chosen words that can at once be an honest answer and also conceal that which she wishes to keep secret.
It is in the way she talks to her fans, both in person and online, making them feel understood and loved. She seems to know exactly what people need to hear before they can even share their feelings.
And whatever it is – pain or joy or admiration or frustration – Taylor always has the right words to, at least for a while, make everything feel alright in the world.

That is her magic.

Her words.

until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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SuperSwifty again, I was looking through pics from the VMAs for inspiration and found this one:

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Between the crop top and the powerful profile shape I just felt like another Supergirl pic was in order. Now I don’t draw a lot of profile portraits so this one is pretty off on the resemblance to Swifty but I think it’s a pretty good Supergirl.

Which brings me to today’s ramblings.

It might surprise you that I don’t always think of what to write before I start, quite often I just draw the pic I want to draw and let my thoughts come to me naturally. Such as with this, I had no idea what to write about until I was looking at the drawing and thinking, “This doesn’t look much like Tay but at least she inspired a decent Supergirl pic out of me.”

And that’s the thing, inspiration.

Taylor inspires a hell of a lot of creativity among her fans in a way you don’t normally see among that particular audience. If you take the time to search on social media for Swifties concert outfits or signs or even just their art/craft projects you will find so many different takes on the concepts and words presented by Swifty herself. Everything ranging from simple lyrics on shirts to costumes inspired by puns and in-jokes, signs that frame the holder inside album artwork or massive posters of her cats complete with meme-esque captioning. Elaborate copies of Taylor’s outfits (down to the very last detail) stand right alongside t-shirts with quickly drawn Starbucks cups on them (sharing the joke with Tay) and all manner of fairy-lights, glitter, pastels and fluffyness.

Normally you expect that kind of creativity among the more geeky/nerdy fanbases, pop-music fans are “too cool” for that kind of thing.

But I guess that’s the secret.

Taylor isn’t one of the cool kids, she’s a geeky, dorky goofball who just happens to be the biggest name in music right now.

And she makes it okay for her fans to be as geeky and dorky as they like too.

until next time

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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After a suggestion from one of my tumblr buddies I decided to go for a normal portrait this week, in this case of one of her award show appearances in 2006.

And on that note I’m going to continue with the portraits for the next few weeks, doing a different year until we’ve gotten back to 2015.

I really don’t have any commentary this week, just the pic.

So… yeah… I hope you enjoy.

I’ve got some actual akaScoobyverse content to come this week so I’m gonna go finish that now.

until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Since I missed last week (due to Oz Comic Con) here is two pics this week.

Continuing from the last Swifty Saturday these portraits are from award shows in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

In an embarrassing coincidence, that second pic is very likely based off the same photo that my first ever attempt to draw Taylor was. So in the spirit of look how far I’ve come, from several years ago, here is the first pic I ever drew of Taylor (feel free to laugh)…

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And I think I’ll leave things on this cringeworthy note.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob akaScooby

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Continuing with my walk down Taylor’s award show memory lane this week with 2009 and 2010.

The first pic I drew last week but never got a chance to finish. I was rushing to get a lot of stuff done due to having to do extra shifts at work and as a result, well, I kind of screwed it up a bit. Sure I should have redone it from scratch but, hey, I’m not exactly Mr Quality…

Anyway, all this talk of rushing leads me into this week’s topic…

Taking some time for yourself.

In one of Taylor’s recent interviews she talks about life after she finishes her absolutely kick-ass 1989 World Tour (of course, being Swifty, she also talked about never wanting to end the tour) and how she might take some time off to spend with her friends, family and write new music (or not, she hasn’t decided yet).

Predictably this has led to two main responses in the fandom. The first, and by very far most common, one being “I’m sad but I understand and support you, take a break babe.” It is an attitude that makes me proud to be part of the Swifties. Of course the second, minority but very loud, reaction of “How dare you! Go kill yourself!” makes my wish schools taught kids how to control obsessive behaviour.

But I’m not here to talk about that second response (because I don’t want the death threats when I repost this on tumblr), I’m not even really going to talk about the first response. No what I want to talk about is the concept of taking a break every now and then.

Now of course most of us aren’t super-dooper rich people like Her Swiftyness so we can’t really take months off from work/school/whatever to recharge and rethink and generally get our life compass back pointing the right direction but we still need to take time.

And if we don’t take the time when we need it, well, our body and mind will force us to…in a way.

Something I’ve learned the hard way in recent months…

Due to work and other stress in my life, my limited free time that I’m supposed to be dedicating to my akaScoobyverse has often been instead a time where I just stare at half started pages or distract myself with other stuff (thankfully I tend to have multiple piles of drawings in different stages pencils/inks/colours to work on depending on my mojo). In fact the entirety of this year has been kind of a let down in regards to my creative works, between work and some bad episodes of depression I haven’t gotten nearly as much as I should have been able to (still haven’t got my online store going).

But as I think about things and try to find some positives, strangely enough I do.

I may not have gotten as many stories or comics produced this year but I’ve done plenty of other stuff that will help me as I go forward, not only have I managed to create a plethora of art for use in possible books/merch, I’ve also learned a lot. Through interaction with, and studying of, some of my favourite artists I’ve improved my drawing and also my understanding of the industry, I’ve picked up a lot of tips for how to make things work as I move forward.

And, as I’ve come to terms with the unintended downtime, I’ve also managed to find more of a focus, a path almost, for my future, my goals.

So yeah, not really much about Swifty in this Swifty Saturday, but that’s how it is sometimes. Sometimes I want to ramble on about her performances/achievements or her relationship with the fandom and other times she’ll just give me the starting point to sort out other thoughts I’ve been having.

So, until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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And we continue with a 2011 look.

I really don’t have any commentary/ramblings prepared this week so…

Go watch these videos, it’s quite interesting and enjoyable.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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2012 style as I continue…

Only three more until I have to come up with a new idea.

Or, you know, go back to the superhero Swifty thing, because that was fun.

And fun is what this project is all about.

Until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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And a 2013 look this week.

Just the pic this time, I know I’ve had less to say on these Swifty Saturdays for the past few weeks but I have two good reasons…

The first and main reason is I’ve been busy.

The second reason I’ll get to in a later update.

until next time…

Live Love Laugh
Rob

TS_SwiftySaturday_42 TS_SwiftySaturday_43

And finally 2014 and 2015.

It turns out I’ve done pics from these events before but, oh well, whatever…

And, by the way, the look she has going on in the white outfit is one of my faves, very 80s rock goddess…

Anyway, I’m going on holiday for a few weeks so this will be the last update here for a while. You can however follow me on social media (I’m akascooby on insta, twitter and tumblr), I’ll be taking a sketchbook with me (because you have to draw every day) and posting photos and what not.

I have important stuff to talk about when I get back in regards to my work here on the site and the return of my akaScoobyverse projects.

I know, not much about Swifty today but you got two pics, that has to count for something right…

until I return

Live Love Laugh
Rob

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