BlogClanner in the Spotlight : Nettlespring!

Back again with your monthly issue of BlogClanner in the Spotlight!! Today we’re welcoming the absolutely incredible Nettlespring, also know as Jericho!! Jericho is an incredible artist, and a big inspiration to me as well as I’m sure many other BlogClanners, so this was such a fun interview to conduct. Without further ado, let’s get into it!!

Art by Mapledrift
[Image description : A brown cat with a yellow and orange outline]

Typical first question! How did you get into Warriors, and then find the Blog?

OK, so! I’m pretty sure it was 2013, maybe 2014, when I first discovered the books. I found Into the Wild in my local library and at the time cats were MY THING! I loved them! I wanted to BE one! And if they were all gritty and dark and fighting, well, that was even better! So I checked the book out and took it home – aaaaaand didn’t read it. It just sat on the sofa all neglected for ages, probably way past the library return date, until one day when I was browsing YouTube and happened to watch SSS Warrior Cats. I was totally taken with THAT! In their intro sequence, they flash the cover for Into the Wild, and I thought, hey, that’s that library book I never read! So I picked it up at last and gradually read all the way up to Book 2 of A Vision of Shadows, by which point I’d spent several years following the series, and (I’m sorry to say) had lost my Warrior Cats steam. But dang, that makes me realize it’s been 8 years since I last read the books! Wondering why my memory’s so patchy? There’s your answer! In terms of the blog, I only found my way here in April! Occasionally I’ll have a spike in interest in the series and when that happens, I inevitably end up watching Moonkitti. I’d heard her mention this site a couple times, but it was a community post of hers that finally tempted me to check it out! And here we are. I didn’t expect to stick around for so long: I’m not very good with changes in habits like that, but it looks like I’ve successfully made the blog a new one!

Maple commentary : And it’s wonderful to have you Jericho! It’s great that the blog is such a welcoming place even for those who aren’t up to date with the books

Q: I know you’re a big fan of detectives, which warrior cats character do you think would make the best detective, and who would make the worst one?

[image description: a grey-and-white tabby cat with light blue eyes, a scar, and a feather accessory]
Art by transrowanstar (tumblr) [image description: a grey-and-white tabby cat with light blue eyes, a scar, and a feather accessory]

Hey, what a fun question! If I’m allowed to get supernatural about it, I reckon Jayfeather would make a pretty good detective. And I swear I’m not just saying that because I love Jayfeather (even though I do) – in his superpowers era, he could feel people’s emotions radiating off them, which I think would come in real handy when interrogating suspects! People also tend to wrongfully underestimate him because he’s blind. Jay could turn the tables on people and use that to his advantage; people let their guard down more when they don’t see someone as a threat!
Disregarding special abilities, I think someone calm and determined would make a good detective, which means Cinderpelt would be brilliant at it! =D She’s also more sympathetic than Jayfeather, so I expect suspects would warm up to her and let slip something useful eventually. I think she’d be able to figure out motives better too, since she’s empathetic enough to put herself in other cats’ paws without letting her emotions get in the way of investigating!
The WORST detective would be Bluestar. Maybe that’s unfair to Bluestar since she wasn’t in her right mind for a lot of the first arc, but she never suspected Tigerclaw or his cronies, and after they left she handed out accusations of betrayal to anyone who even breathed in her direction. I wouldn’t want her handling a murder investigation …

Q: If you could make any theory or headcanon about warrior cats canon, what would you pick?

I’m afraid I’m almost criminally ignorant when it comes to Warriors headcanons, but of the ones I’m aware of, I think it’d be nice to make Nightheart canonically transgender. The groundwork’s already laid out for it, and representation of any kind is SEVERELY lacking, especially for a society of cats that so closely parallels people.
If you’re looking for something bigger in scale, it’s not exactly a headcanon, a bit more like an AU, but I think I’d canonize StarClan being evil (because they might as well be, in my opinion).
Also! Since you’ve given me your blessing to ramble, a personal headcanon of mine that I’d make true is that Jayfeather is aromantic (Me? Biased? Never.) and that when he travels to the past, his mind and Jay’s Wing’s are at odds with each other on the topic of Half Moon. It’s a funny idea to me! And I will die on my anti Jayfeather x Half Moon hill …

Maple commentary : I agree that Jayfeather is probably aromantic!! I love him a lot, I’m not a big fan of Half Moon and Jayfeather either (don’t worry readers, I’ve enabled Jericho more to talk about this ship later)

Q: When you’re not on the blog, what do you like to do with your free time?

I listen to music practically 24/7, and I do a lot of drawing, reading and writing on top of that. Making up characters and worlds for them to live in is one of my absolute favourite things to do! Or I guess I oughta say developing existing characters – I don’t make new ones very often these days! Apart from that, I really like to go on walks. I especially enjoy being in the woods or by the coast. Bonus points if my dog comes with me! And sometimes I bake, though I’m not very good at it

[image description: a brown tabby cat noses the needle arm of a record player]
Source: Daily Paws [image description: a brown tabby cat noses the needle arm of a record player]

Q: Making this a little Halloween-y this time! If you had to go and explore a haunted mansion with 3 BlogClanners who would you pick and why?

[Image description : A chocolate cake with decorations of ghosts and eyes on it]

Oh no – the question I was dreading! How am I supposed to choose?!
Let’s see … I’d bring Flamedove for starters! Flamey was one of the very first friends I made on the blog, so I’d bring them along for emotional support.
Aquila and Redblaze are next on my list (they’re a package deal, so they only take up one spot! ;D) because I reckon they’d be sensible about things and keep the whole crew from going mad. (Right, guys? Right!?)
And last of all … well, I WOULD bring you along, Map, except … you’re the reason we ended up in this house in the first place!!! YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! I’ve got you allll figured out. There ARE no ghosts or ghouls, are there?!? Everything we come across is just an elaborate trap you’ve prepared for the rest of the Blog’s entertainment, like some kind of supernatural reality TV show!
… So I think I’ll fill the last spot on the list with Havenwillow instead! Ah, and I almost forgot to mention! You all get to bring plus-ones, and your plus-ones get to bring plus-ones, so on and so forth. The more the merrier when you’re trekking through a haunted mansion!

Maple commentary : Oh no!!! I was nearly dragged into my own games!! Escaped just barely by a last minute choice of Havenwillow. Little did you know all of the ghosts you had to face would be the ones like on that cake. I’m treating you to a nice Halloween snack

Q: What’s your least favourite warrior cats ship and why?

There was foreshadowing for this earlier in the article … Jayfeather x Half Moon. I could probably fill up the interview with my answer to this question alone, but I’ll try to keep it brief …
Nearly every POV cat in Warriors ends up with a mate or a crush at some point, including all of our medicine cat POVs. You just CANNOT escape it. So when my favourite character of all time looked like he was about to break that streak, I was THRILLED. And then …
And then.
The authors must have realized, all of a sudden, that Jayfeather wasn’t interested in anyone! And they just could NOT let that slide! Was there anyone in the present day he’d taken a liking to? No? “What d’you mean, no?!” they demanded. “Well, we can’t just wait around for it to happen! We want our romance, and we want it NOW!” So they took him all the way back into the past to find him a girlfriend! You can try to tell me that a crucial part of the plot was revealed in those time-travelling scenes, but I’m afraid I won’t listen. Such a cool idea, wasted on yet another forbidden romance plotline! I can’t begin to describe how LIVID it makes me. If I think about it for too long, I’ll have my own Joker moment …

Maple commentary : I told you you’d get to hear more about Jericho’s opinions on this!!

[Jayfeather and Half Moon embrace at twilight]
Art by DarkTale (Twitter: @_darktale_) [Jayfeather and Half Moon embrace at twilight]

Q: Do you have a favourite page of the blog, and why?

I expect everyone’s thinking I’ll pick the Art Page, but I think my favourite page to visit is Fanfiction! I love how dedicated people are to writing such long and detailed stories, and I really enjoy seeing the kinds of plot ideas that people come up with there! Not to mention the brilliant casts of characters =D And I haven’t forgotten that people post poetry too – you get such a range of content and all of it’s lovely. The Fanfic Organization page is fun to hang around as well!

Q: What would your top art tips be? And if you like talk a little about your art process!! I know everyone on the blog loves seeing what you create

Right! My number one art tip (piece of art advice is probably more like it) is to experiment! With materials, with styles, with programs, characters, you name it. There’s nothing wrong with having a comfort zone, but the more you venture out, the better you’ll get! Don’t avoid drawing things just because you think they’ll “look bad” – let things look bad! Looking bad is just fine. I’m always proudest of the work I do that involves new things, even if it doesn’t look as good as I wanted, because I tried something out! I put the effort in! =D
Another one of my big art beliefs is that you don’t need to find one art style and stick to it. If that’s what makes you happy, then it’s not a problem! But I know the idea of “finding my art style” really stressed me out when I was younger, so if you feel the same, you’re not alone!

If you’re looking for PRACTICAL art tips, you’ve come to perhaps THE worst person (heheh) – I’m not efficient at all: I colour everything manually even though I have a program’s worth of tools at my disposal, and I make my own patterns even though Clip Studio has heaps of brushes to save me the time. But there is one thing I find supremely useful, and that’s using a mid-tone background! I usually use grey, but anything not too dark, not too bright does the trick. It helps you get a better idea of the contrast of your colours (and makes ME realize when I’ve gone outside the lines
My process could use some work, I’ll be honest (so if any fellow artists have tips for ME, hand ‘em over!! /lh), but I usually get my drawing ideas from music or movies! Then I’ll sketch the main shape of the character (or the elements of the scene!) very loosely to get an idea for proportions, and after that, I work it out! (Not very helpful, huh? /lh) I do one sketch and no line art because I adjust things as I go, but really, work however you like! There’s plenty of flipping the canvas involved. I’m terrible at remembering to use references, but they really do help and I’d recommend them!).

Maple commentary : Thank you so much Jeri!! I’ll be sure to use this in some of my own art (I actually used the tip about grey coloured background for the cover piece here!)

Q: Using a shared interest of ours to ask this one!! If the persona characters (from either 3 or 5) were in warrior cats who do you think would make the best warrior, or the best medicine cat (you can also talk about worst if you want)

Heck yeah! Alright – you’ll have to forgive me, I know P3 is your JAM, but I remember the P5 characters’ personalities the best ^^
And out of them … ! … the best warrior would be Makoto, in my opinion. Not only is she a great tactician but she’s definitely strong enough on top of being super resilient! She’s also willing to make tough choices for the greater good, which is a very Fireheart-esque quality. And for the medicine cats I’m gonna pick a duo: Maruki as the mentor and Haru as the medicine apprentice. I think together they’d be a solid pair of doctors! Maruki isn’t exactly confidential, but luckily for him, you don’t need to worry about that as a medicine cat. And I think Haru’s penchant for gardening could translate into a good knowledge of herbs! She’s also very kind and empathetic. The worst warrior would be … Morgana. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! (/s) But technically, much as I love him, I could have picked Ryuji. He’s a great fighter but he’d totally give away his Clan’s battle tactics while chatting at a gathering. And the worst medicine cat? I can’t give my reasoning for spoiler purposes, but probably Akechi … heheh.

Maple commentary: Now we have a bit of a unique case here! Jericho actually asked me this question right back at me as the persona games are something I introduced him to and I’m more familiar with it!!
So taking my spin on it. From the Persona 3 cast, the best warrior would probably be Akihiko. Just out of the fact that he’s genuinely very motivated to train and fight and I just think he’d really want to be a warrior. Minato (the protagonist) would be pretty good as well! I can see him falling into role pretty easily. The worst warrior would be Yukari I think! I think she’d be much too cautious to jump right into battle and also too preoccupied with her own worries to be a great warrior. I think she’d be good! Just not the best. Junpei- along similar lines to Ryuji wouldn’t be great either. He’d rush into battle far too much
Fuuka would be the best medicine cat. This is really easy she’s lovely and she’d want to help. Shinji would probably be the worst I feel like he’d hate it. As I’ve talked about almost every character I have to mention that Mitsuru would be the best leader, and Ken is clearly apprentice aged
(For those of you wondering what persona is it’s a game series I’m really interested in!! I’d only recommend it for the 15+ BlogClanners though due to some content!! The soundtrack is great for everyone however!)

Art by Jericho
[Image description : A drawing of a man with shoulder length brown hair in a shirt, blazer and tie]

Q: What question would you like to ask the readers of this article?

If you had to make one major change to the Warriors series, what would it be? You could change a plot point, a character death or choice, something to do with the world-building, whatever you like!

Maple commentary : For me I think I’d like to see Hollyleaf have a power!! I think it could be fun to see what she would do with it

ANDDDDDD that wraps up our interview!!! Thank you so much to Jericho for being incredible throughout this, and we have some awesome art from her to showcase!!! Please give this all some love in the replies

Art by Jericho
[A blue-grey and brown tortie with spiky fur]
Art by Jericho
[Image description : A red fox with 3 beams of blue light hitting its face]
Art by Jericho
[Image description : A grey and white cat in a sweater vest and hat]
Art by Jericho
[Image description : A man with blue eyes, short black hair and a yellow scarf]

Mapledrift || He/xe/it + other neopronouns


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