Age: late 20's
Hobbies: Music and Visual Arts
Abilities: Synaesthesia (colour to sound and other way round)
Likes: aquariums, his petpet, colours blue and pink.
Dislikes: crowds, fluorescent yellow, meat.
Important notes: is mute
Personality: Lives in a world of his own, but sometimes wants to break the invisible wall that formed between him and others. He tries to do that and come to terms with his inner feelings through music and art. May act random, but it not aggressive. Respects others, but gets misunderstood.
He doesn't have any exceptional features… besides the fact that most of his body got replaced with synthetic parts. Which means he is more heavy than an average pet of his size, but the mechanisms responsible for this state also help him support that weight. Because of it, he rather stays away from the water. Being water proof is one thing – too heavy to float on the surface, is another. Some of his natural body parts were spared: being complicated and not damaged, it made no sense to replace them with artificial replicas. One of them are his palms, that although a bit enhanced, still have have flesh and skin and are sensitive to touch.
The reception of his look may be different depending on the part of Neopia he arrives. On Space Station where robot pets are no novelty a cyborg wouldn't make a difference, while in Meridell he could be taken as a foreign curiosity. Only well-versed craftsmen and scientists would probably notice the precision and advanced technology used to get Artisaki's body back to shape.
What does make him stand out, are his clothes. He doesn't bother much about the conventions. His life experience told him, that the community can create countless, weird rules and he sometimes gets very lost, trying to abide to all of them. So he decided to wear what he likes. He does not try to be original, because it is just another subjective term he cannot fully grasp. Sure, a newly designed mechanism can be original. But how can a story, jacket or music be judged as original or unoriginal?
Artisaki tries to both venture inside and express himself through art. His art is abstract and often hard to understand as much as he is. It may take time, insight or pure accident to reveal the true beauty of some works.
If he is lucky and feels like parting with his work, he sells some of his paintings to some weirdos or just, ekhm, eccentric rich Neopians.
Side note: Abstract Art seemed most fitting choice for this character, however, I am not much a fan of it myself. Not that I don't like it – I am just not interested on it. When pondering about Artisaki's character I went through some most famous works and I must say: "White on White" by Kazimir Malevich FTW!
His electronic music may also not come to everyone's taste. His housemates don't have anything against his musical experiments, as long as they don't occur late at night (which occasionally happens).
His interest and talent got him a job of a DJ in one of the Mystery Island's clubs. On the weekends he stays up till the morning, to earn just enough for the living. Good he doesn't have to pay the rent or else he would be eating from the club's trash bin.
To get a better picture of Artis' music, see the Inspirations section.
Artisaki can "hear" the colours. Each colour for him represents a sound, hues are tones and so the rainbow sings for him...
Many of his paintings are created out of this unusual sensation. For an average viewer they may not make sense, being too abstract only if you look at them with your eyes. But hearing them out would reveal their full beauty...
Inside a shell
There is a kind of distance between Artisaki and others. An invisible barrier which guards his personal world. Sometimes he feels it a safe bay that keeps him safe. However, there are moments when he wants to scream and break the wall. But something still limits him.
The outside world seems complicated or it may be just an enlarged reflection of the chaos inside him. Others constantly act and change their moods: they are happy, joyful ,excited, alarmed, start quarrelling, get irritated, mad, furious, turn sad and sink to melancholy to start over at any point. Artisaki wants to, but doesn't know when to step in. What are the feelings he carries inside and how to act according to them?
How to create a resonance with another being?
They keep on talking. Too many unnecessary words. They block the transmission. What are the feelings underneath?
The scarce symbols, simple sounds, pure behaviour.
This is Artisaki's choice and way.
Due to his artificial parts, Artisaki is slightly stronger and much more resistant to damage than an average pet. His body also doesn't get tired easily, which helps him working even up to late night hours without breaks, only if he has the right sugar supply. But his life is full of inconveniences too.
His casings are 100% waterproof. However, he cannot swim and would drown right away if pushed into deep water. That is quite inconvenient when you live on an island. Despite that, he enjoys watching the ocean, but keeps a safe distance from it.
His diet got very restrictive. He hates meat, he is intolerant to lactose and cannot even properly digest some foods. His meals are mostly smoothies and vitamin pills: he needs microelements for what is left of his bio-body and lots of sugar to keep him going.
His sight wasn't spared in the accident and has worsened too. His eyes get easily weary, giving him a blurry vision when he concentrates on something for too long (ex reading a book) ,they are sensitive to sharp light (not the best thing for a DJ) and his nocturnal vision is very poor (twilight approaches him earlier and everything get covered in darkness at night). He has to wear a special visor designed for him most of the time.
His palms, which still are mostly a feeling flesh, got more sensitive and he prefers to wear gloves to limit the sensations.
And generally, his poor social skil.ls together with the odd gift he possesses makes his life hard, even if he quickly got used to some inconveniences.
I created the name myself. I wanted it to sound like a Greek name, but I did not really base it on any real name in particular. First it was meant for a different kind of character, but in the end it fit what Artisaki is now perfectly. I must admit I fancy the layers this name has. Layers? Let me show you:
ART - isaki: fits his artistic soul.
ARTI – saki: As short for "Arthur", but also the beginning of word "Artificial".
Arti-SAKI: in Japanese SA can stand for "blossom" and KI for "hope". But it is also relevant in terms of Artisaki's story ;)
Artis – AKI: "bright" in Japanese.
If you read story of his past, you'll find out what other meaning I hid in the name ;)
Inspirations for the character
One of my direct inspirations for Artis' character was Daft Punk. After listening to "Homework" and "Discovery" (with the most enjoyable 68 minute-long "video clip" "Inserstella 5555") and watching Electroma I wanted a little robot on my own. At least on Neo :-P (but in the end decided to add some flesh&bones and make Artis a cyborg).
Klaus Schulze is fitting the theme. I've heard his music for the first time in an antiquarian bookshop and just had to ask the guy working there about this awesome synthesizer tune. He gave me with this "kids these days don't know good music" look and blandly answered my question.
We Are the Robots" by Kraftwerk – Hard not to mention here ;)
When writing about Saki's "music experiments" I still had in mind enduring some of Karlheinz Stockhausen's "Structures".
Last, but not the least of the musical inspirations is a song from an old CC (compact cassette, duh) I found in the attic. I still don't know the name of that nor the band, since it was unlabelled CC with radio streaming recorded on it. But i am still searching. Although it's more of a rock/punk song I loved the lyrics which tell about some mechanic being and digital technology "foreseeing the world" and of course the mendacious 'system' – something all punk songs have in common.
Of course watching some cyberpunk movies had its impact: from Ghost in the Shell to ...Robocop (and Robocop II). Amusingly, I can accept all sort robot/cyborg depictions in Japanese animation and manga (from biotic fighters in "Appleseed" to dumb cuties from "Chobits"), but even similar ideas in some western productions got on my nerves (I really wanted that brat from "A.I" to get processed and turned into something more useful, like cans of SPAM).
Shadows of the Past
Artisaki met with Lornea around the age of 27. They became friends and with a great luck they managed to get their own home. But was he always that lucky and what about all those years before he ended up in a cosy house at the Mystery Island? This story is supposed to cast some light on it.
Running had no sense now, the distance he made only made him loose his breath. Walking slowly to regain it back, he shuddered when visualizing a bucket of yellow paint before him. He liked yellow, he adored that light tones it was making, but this kind of fluorescent yellow had the most irritating high-pitched sound it existed. He tried to put the paint on the items that approached him slowly on the assembly line, just like everyday. He had gritted his teeth. He squinted but that only caused him to make mistakes and put the paint on unevenly. The torment lasted for less than an hour when he got up and his violent movement knocked down the paint. Now the whole floor was yelling, louder than the manager who marched in. This was to much to take, so he ran out of the factory. He knocked down the manager on the way, pushing him aside maybe with too much force, but what else could he do if the man was blocking his way? He left the ocean of yellow screaming madness behind, but now he realized he probably left his job too. They will not understand. What was in his mind did not matter against the undoubted fact that the manager fell down: you could see it, hear it, apply formulas and measure the speed at which he was falling and the pressure of his body against the factory's tiled floor. The zafara about to go to his little hut that stood across his parent's garden, where he had his own space under his guardian's supervision. They said he always caused him problems and they have to look over him, but in fact, since he moved to his own 4 walls, they seemed to avoid him as much as possible. A sudden impulse made him to take a different route, to his father's garage. The dogs, used to his scent, did not make a fuss when he was meddling with the lock, nor when he took the motorbike out. They only barked when startled and annoyed by the loud roar the awakened machine made, but went back to their kennels as soon as the roaring was nothing more than a faint buzzing in the distance.
It felt so good. The palette of evening sky sounded reverently, drawing everything to join it's performance till night puts the black curtain on the landscape. Tomorrow was supposed to be his 21st birthday. Not that it mattered, it only meant the got older and didn't wish for any present or celebration of that obvious, natural fact. But if he ever wanted a present, this was the best he could get, he thought. But his father would never give that to him. He was about to go to the fair tomorrow and show off his motorbike to whom he called "pals", making sure he won't run out of gas if they set up a race around the town. Thanks to it the young man could reach the main road. He focused on the middle of the horizon, speeding up so anything around that one point was a blur. So delightful, what a symphony! Make it faster, faster, synchronized, so grand!
A single false note suddenly broke free from the blurred choir on the right. He saw and heard it too late. Flying off the motorbike, ringing of angry chromatic bells accompanied by attack if vicious, sharp stones when he rolled down the cliff. And then it was so simple: just silence and darkness.
The room was full of laboratory equipments. He had no idea how they worked or what the purpose of each device was. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered. His attention was drawn to the limp body in the centre of all this machinery. It was quite a mess. Suddenly, a wave of emotions rushed to him and he could no longer focus on anything. All desires and intentions attacking at once. He screamed and woke up.
His eyelids felt heavy; he opened them slowly, but it didn't help much as his vision was blurred. The pain was crawling through his body like a slug, so dull and overwhelming, but still bearable. He heard some noises; a burgundy drops of ticking, yellow humming and a steel blue faint whistling. After a moment he realized he was making that whistling sound, with every breath. Probably in the first time in his life, he started panicking. He tried to move, but pain only got worse and blue whistling turned into coarse, dark green coughing. Violet footsteps – he heard them too late to move his head, if that was even possible and he fell asleep once again.
The bright light woke him up. This room was different, there weren't many machines standing here and it was much brighter. The window was half-open, letting some breeze in and he could feel it. So, he was alive. Someone put many thin tubes in his body and he could feel that too, it was not very comfortable. When he glared at the one attached to his left hand someone said I will remove them soon, just don't get the stupid idea to pull them out by yourself. There stood a neopet dressed in a navy suit. No, not a neopet – a faerie.
The faerie's name was Sakia and she turned out to be his saviour, caretaker and the dark type. About that, she once told him during one of her random monologues:There are several other types of faeries, as you know, and quite honestly I used to be angry I was not one of them. I saw earth faeries make plants grow. The water ones made sure the rivers flow as they should and the life inside them is blooming. Air faeries made wind blow when it was called for. The fire faeries could be quite destructive, but their flame was most desired during harsh, cold winter nights. I thought we, the dark ones, and the light faeries are in the same class, but one of them, her name was Sol, but that doesn't matter now – she proved me wrong. All of them could create. I was left in the shadows – and those don't even exist if there isn't something that casts them. But as you see, I found my way. And I'm doing fine with it, aren't I? Magic or science wouldn't do it alone, but if you combine two qualities... just look at the result! Of course, you are not my final project, just a testing stage. But a very successful one.
You didn't want to tell me anything about yourself or your past – that is fine. I did precise measurements, each inch of your skin is no mystery to me. I don't need you giving me imprecise reports on how you think you're doing. But seeing your thoughts is one thing I cannot do, not at this stage of my research. For all I have done for you, tell me. What do you think? Or at least, what do you feel right now? she stood with her arms crossed, looking at him expectantly. What should he had told her? He didn't know. Again, she broke the silence: I made all I could so you can produce sounds with your mouth apparatus. Are you going to speak at all?. He stood up, walked to her and reached for the pen that was sticking out of her pocket. Then took the notebook out of her hand. She never let anyone touch her notes, but this time she didn't resist. On a blank page, he wrote No sense.. She sighed I will leave that decision up to you. Just keep in mind, if you remain silent for long, the vocal chords I woven you will get out of shape. Not that I didn't warn you. She never threw out that page from her notebook.
I think my work ends here. Sakia watched him packing. It didn't take him long, since he had no personal belongings but the few necessary items she gave him. I don't know what kind of goodbye are you expecting. I say you were a great test subject. Do you intend to return home now?". He shook his head. His parents must have thought he was dead. Would a "ghost" returning home be a good or bad thing? He didn't know. He never fully understood, but once he overheard his mother yelling to his father I would like to have a normal child! Am I asking for too much?! and those words echoed in his mind till his 21st birthday. At this place the time flew differently. He didn't even know how long was he asleep and Sakia never told him that. Not that it matters now, but maybe tell me your name? So I can place it in the files, next to your number.. He handed her a small card which, written in capital letters, it said Artisaki. She blinked, recognizing the similarity, Arti like for artistic or artificial?, she asked with a smirk on her face, yet her eyes had an usually warm glow. Artisaki shrugged his arms. Did it matter? The name bears no meaning, when no one speaks it out.
Artisaki travelled far away from home and finally reached Mystery Island. All his belongings could fit into one bag.. He has learned more about performing and mixing music and finally free, he could also paint. Not just put the paint the assembly line junk, but create real paintings. That did not bring him fame and fortune, but he didn't care. The only problem was that he was not getting enough money from it. Wherever he stayed longer, he was getting into debts and to pay them back and survive he sometimes took other jobs, like painting someone's house.
From Discord to Resonance
This energetic girl got along with Arti just ok, which does not mean she understands him. But thread of agreement formed between them, maybe because Lornea breaks the limitations her own way trying to express her inner self despite of the outer XXL package. Living together brings many hilarious situation. Lornea is mostly bugged by the fact that Arti keeps so quiet (she really needs to find herself another chit-chat friend). It is undetermined who can take a better care of oneself_ the teenage who is an open book when it comes to emotions or the silent artists.
They both seem to fit the same category of a "quiet type", but each silence bears a different meaning. Maybe there is something about misfits fitting each other's companion. Theovious slowly grows desire to understand Artisaki's art and what's beyond it. But the artist's randomness is something too much to handle for the easily-stressed Theo. Still these two can be considered "best buddies" in some way or another. There's not really a huge choice for them left...
The moment Adagio was released I knew that is a fitting companion for Saki. The name sounds cute and is one of the noises the petpet makes. GiGi can play and repeat melodies, thus comes in handy when Arti works on a new music composition
Home49833 Harbour Lane, Mystery Island
He lives in a house located on Mystery Island. Normally, he couldn't have afforded it, but luckily he met Lornea: the Grundo girl discovered that a jewellery piece she hated most was made or ultra rare space mineral and this way they afforded a house. He has his own room with crazy design and all the colours of the rainbow. He sleeps and works there, so it's always an "artist's chaos" inside.
You can pay him a visit, I think he won't mind as long as you don't interrupt him while he's painting or composing. When you get inside, go upstairs and the first room on the left belongs to Arti.
drag and drop this link to the url bar to enter my classic neohome
The Association for the Betterment of Character Development
This project got me motivated to work in-depth on Artisaki and some of my other characters.
The project's page: http://www.neopets.com/~Biometric
Special TasksHere go the tasks that don't go with other section of the page I have planned out, so I put them as "extras".
Task 4: Death
How does your character feel about death? How does your character view their own death? Does this vary from their views on the death of others? Do their feelings towards death effect their life in any way?
Artisaki already experiences death, or at least it's first stage. As every young individual Artisaki wants to live to the fullest: play music, create more paintings, explore the world and learn. It's sometimes like that. Other times, when the world around him again seems too complicated and too violent, he withdraws to his shell-world. Then he fantasies how good it would be to escape the chaos, cut all the unnecessary bonds, break free from rules and limitations. Just to be. Get away from all doubts, slowly, peacefully sink into perfect harmony of light and sound.
Fortunately, he has good friends who can show him how that flawless calmness can be boring to death ;)
Task 9: Injuries
What injuries has your character had in the past?
Injuries? It was miracle of science and magic that patched him together. You can read about it in his story and see the aftermath of it in loose gears section.
Task 10: Jokes
What sort of sense of humour does your character have? Does your character prefer to make jokes or listen to them? What sort of jokes do they tend to make? What type of jokes do they prefer? Knock-knock, slapstick, sarcasm, social commentary, etc?
Oooh, Arti can do many funny things! But the humour there is unintentional. His understanding of jokes is very poor: he will either get puzzled, angry or not even notice the joke.
Task 11: Kids
What is your character's opinion on kids? How does your character feel about other people's children? What about the idea (or existence) of kids of their own? Does your character want to ever have children? Why or why not? Would your character ever adopt a child? Why or why not?
At one point Arti seems someone who likes kids: he never yells at them (well, he's muste anyway) and sometimes would join their play without resisting. On the other hand kids are annoying creatures and often don't understand what it means to leave someone alone, especially if he's working on something. In that case Saki can get very irritated and act impolite or even aggressive towards a child; although, without intention of harming it or causing pain, but to remove the annoying stimuli from his nearest environment.
Task 12: Love
How does your character view love?
If you say that love is that mixture of liking, caring, openness and wanting to share something with another (like something you feel for the very best friend or your family) then the poor, misunderstood Saki is capable of loving others. His problem is defining it. His problem is seeing love. His problem is others' problems with love, because the things they tell about it and way they act under its' influence make him puzzled.
How does your character feel about the night? What is their preferred activity at night? What time does your character generally go to sleep - and why at that time?
He spends plenty of night at the club where he works as a DJ. Besides that even when he has a nigh off, he often catches the wave of inspiration and creates till dawn surfin' on some sugar-packed energy drinks
Task 15: Opportunity
How does your character respond to new opportunities?
Reflecting on his life story so far, I would say Arti is one lucky (unwilling) opportunist. Unconsciously he was able to forge his disabilities into talents that helped him to get a job and meet some friends.
Task 16: Pets
How does your character feel about pets?
Saki is ok with pets, but he doesn't own a robo pet for no reason. His lifestyle makes it hard to care about a normal pet, moreover, he gets so occupied with his tasks, that he hardly remembers to satisfy his own needs. So at one point he isn't fit for the role, but on the other side there are things about petpets he likes. Most of them are simply-minded creatures, at least when compared to neopets. They use other means of communicating, but when you learn about their "language" you learn that these creatures are at least honest and straightforward about what they want or do.
Task 17: Questionnaire
1. How old are you?
2. What makes you special?
3. What is the most normal thing about you?
4. What is the last thing you ate?
5. What is the last thing you did prior to this questionnaire?
6. With whom did you last share a hug?
7. What's the most exciting thing you did yesterday?
8. What will you do after you finish this questionnaire?
9. Who do you want to talk to right now?
10. What are you wearing?
11. What's your favorite color?
12. What do you wish you were doing right now?
13. Do you like pie?
1. How old are you?
((Oh, sorry, but Artisaki doesn't speak and he's not always eager to communicate with others. Let's pretend we can hear his thoughts, or something? Ok, let's do it!))
1. Why it matters to you? I'm adult.
2. When some people use it, they mean a bad thing. Do you too? I am different. Others don't see or hear the things I do. Colours don't speak to them, music doesn't paint pictures before their eyes. Yes, this body of metal is different too. But I got used to it. Even like it.
3. I sleep, I eat, I use the bathroom, I breathe with my lungs, I sometimes feel cold or warmth running through my fingertips… that's all normal, right?
4. Protein smoothie, B16 pill, magnesium and a cup of green tea.
5. I listened to the traffic lights.
7. I poked a squid. But just a bit. I didn't want to hurt it.
8. I have some idea for a new music piece. Painted it down already, now I need to start playing it. If it's good, I will record it.
9. No one. I don't talk. Don't want to.
10. These are some clothes I found at the donation shop. They have nice colors, I like how the short silently blends with trousers and the orange spots chirp all over them.
11. Out of so many choices… beige has a delicate tone. It may not fit my music, but it calms me down.
12. I think I do want start doing some music right now.
13. No, if you ask about tasting it. This question is dumb. I cannot even eat a pie. But I like cutting through it. I once chopped it into tiny pieces. But others got angry at me. I don't understand, they would have chopped and mashed it with their teeth anyway. I go now. Ciao.
Task 18: Robots
What's your character's opinion on robots? What about robots with emotions? What cyborgs? How does your character feel about the concept of a robot uprising? If robots are unknown to your character, how would they respond to the concept of robots, artificial emotions, cyborgs and robotic takeovers?
Over 60% of his body got replaced with artificial parts. No wonders others treat him like a robot sometimes, although he is not. Although, he sometimes thinks of the difference between a robot and living creature and if there's a difference at all or just different kind of materials used to construct each. He wonders if robots could feel emotions. If so, he was one, he thought.
Task 19: Scared
What scares your character? Are there any fears which your character has overcome? What are they most afraid of?
Until the accident his biggest fear and greatest desire that never came into realization was that he will remain forever lonely. There are moments were he seeks loneliness, but then comes a moment he panics that he might get forever lost in this little bubble he creates. Constantly torn between the two urges.
Besides that, he is scared of deep water of the obvious reason he would drown like a stone. He also has a strong hating of radiant fluorescent yellow color – he despises it so much he dreads the moment he might come in contact with it. Because of one simple task involving a dreadfully colored paint, his whole life has changed.
Task 21: Utopia
What is your character's idea of a perfect society? What are the laws, punishments, jobs, etc in this society? What prevents their utopia from existing? Is there anything that comes close in their reality?
The perfect world is filled with sounds and colors that together produce an enjoyable mix. As far as other intelligent beings are concerned, they shall not interfere with his life or works and when there is a need of interaction, they shall act according to clear and simple rules… but then Arti isn't really sure of that. Sometimes he feels drawn to this uncanny realm of emotions and contradictory actions. He needs simplicity, honesty, acceptance… but also love, commitment and enthusiasm which can't be defined by simple logic.
Task 22: Victory
How does your character react to success? How does your character respond to victory in team activities? What about personal victories? How does your character react when failing to achieve their goals or expectations?
The feeling of achieving something drags Artisaki to others and gives him new inspiration. Sometimes he will do something silly, sometimes he looks so unresponsive as if nothing happened. But he is always ready for a good party and his friends should be happy to have the best DJ on the island at their service ;) Good thing about him is that he never feels
Task 23: Wish
What is your character's greatest wish? Why? In what situations do they make a wish (wishing wells, shooting stars, birthday cakes, etc)? What sort of variety is there in those wishes, if any? If granted any three wishes what would they be?
Artisaki doesn't get the idea of superstitions, so he never makes a wish on any "special" occasion. I think that for now what he most wishes for is to untangle that mess hehas in his head and better understand others (and himself). Despite all the factors that make him so different from a regular person, he would like to have a loving family. But that's not a wish anymore, since it is coming true at his new home.
Task 25: X-Men
If your character could have any superpower what would it be? Why? What would they do with those powers? What well known power would be their least favorite (flight, super strength, telekinesis, fire manipulation, etc)?
I imagine Artisaki would like to have the power to read other's minds. But if he acquired it, he probably would quickly regret it if he discovered that there are plenty who have serious mess inside their heads. He would probably be lost which are his own thought and feelings and what belongs to those in whose minds he lurks and that would be driving him crazy. With that experience he would probably refuse to have any superpower or switch to something very simple and pragmatic, like underwater breathing.
LinksZafara Characters by others:
CreditsLayout by me :)