This week brings us a journey into the early days of the fandom, with a story which delves into the darkest parts of one pony’s psyche to ask weighty questions about our relationship with our art.
“The Art of the Dress” or “Expectations”
[Dark] • 8,547 words
Rarity finds herself especially intrigued by the dresses of Ponyville’s newest dressmaker. Struggling under the burden of her own adoration she finds herself trapped within an existential crisis. In this nihilistic twilight, she clings onto the last of her creative sanity, trying to pierce through the mysterium that is the new dressmaker’s identity. A story that deals with what it is to be and, subsequently, what it is to not be in the world of creativity.
FROM THE CURATORS: It takes a fine touch for art to be able to talk about art in a way that’s more than simply navel-gazing, but this piece weaves together two threads of meta-discussion that also function on several other levels — as a family drama and as a magical-realism psychological horror story. “A well-crafted story,” Benman said, and Present Perfect agreed: “A deep and haunting piece with a lot of great imagery.” “Rarity is impeccably characterized,” Horizon added.
As the description suggests, this is a story that sets out deep themes and does not flinch from them. While this means that it may be more challenging for casual readers, those willing to explore its ideas in greater depth should find rich rewards. “The story’s like a modern art installation,” Horizon said. “It always feels like there’s something more to be found if I dig a little further.”
Read on for our interview, in which NTSTS explores the fundamental nature of creation, discusses how to keep a healthy perspective on the quality of your work, and reveals how a writing prompt about love led to a tale about existential crisis.