MTGinktober peeps into Day 26, "Squeak," starring Saheeli Rai, Brazen Scourge, and a Thopter token, all sharing quite a quiet moment, though not quite sharing the same idea!
The concept for this piece hit me quite suddenly after reading the prompt, so much so that I had to sketch it down immediately, which you can see in the thumbnail sketch, this post's bottom-most image. The idea was to have a Gremlin riding on Saheeli's head Pikachu-style, and they would both be reaching out to a damaged Thopter. I had the image of Saheeli sticking out her tongue out of concentration while repairing the token with her mecha-magic. I like how instantly goofy a stuck-out tongue makes a face.
But since the Gremlin is on her head matching her outreached pose, I thought it'd be funny to mimic her expression, too. So out plopped his tongue and it had the unintended effect of detailing his motivation, which I hadn't planned--rather than just match her posing, his motive became obvious: he wanted to eat the injured Thopter, meanwhile Saheeli wanted to repair it! Sweet, sweet synergy.
Fun Facts: This is our second visit to Kaladesh, but last time we only had the patchwork world-design of Origins to work from. This time around, with Kaladesh block in the books, I was able to assemble more references for the background, and relied heavily on Ceremonious Rejection's windy roads and numerous dark arches.
Easter Eggs: I didn't use Adam Paquette's Thopter design entirely, as I wanted to make it look like he had sad patterns where his eyes might be, using strategic swirl placement as well as defeated, sloped shoulders and wings.
This was meant to be a quiet little piece, but it ended up being pretty popular on the daily sites, so go figure!