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The Tao of Applejack by TopGull The Tao of Applejack by TopGull
I tried a new style of shading for this, inspired by the work of :iconruhje: Ruhje. As a result, most of the work was very slow and highly experimental, but I'm very excited about how it turned out and I'd like to continue practicing. Let me know what you think!

First in a series of Apple family Zen. Title by my good friend :iconquadforcefive: QF5, you should check him out.
Others in the series:
Big Macintosh: Zen and the Art of Apple Bucking
Granny Smith: Zen Apple Jam
Apple Bloom: Coming soon

As seen on Equestria Daily!
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:iconrunesoldierdan:
RuneSoldierDan Featured By Owner May 10, 2014
AJ, the world would be better if more ponies listened to you...
Reply
:iconlegendario13:
legendario13 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2014  Student General Artist
From the apple family reflections this is by far the one I liked the most, Not that the others don't hold their own valuable wisdom.
Reply
:iconragnu:
ragnu Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
I think you should also get some mane 6 zen. Either way, I love this!
Reply
:icontopgull:
TopGull Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! I'm glad you like it!
Reply
:icondoughnutjoe:
DoughnutJoe Featured By Owner May 6, 2013
I suppose one does not spend most days bucking trees without developing a strong sense of balance. Lovely image & text.
Reply
:iconfallenshadow000:
FallenShadow000 Featured By Owner May 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Confucius say...

um...

uh...

... yeah, I've got nothing.
Reply
:iconhecmanstar:
hecmanstar Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013
Hmm... I like it.
Reply
:iconarrjaysketch:
ArrJaySketch Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is lovely. I can see a lot of great wisdom coming from AJ. She seems very well-grounded in a literal and figurative sense. :)

I love the posing on this, too. I imagine one develops a certain finesse after bucking thousands of apple trees. :)
Reply
:icontopgull:
TopGull Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! AJ certainly has the most interesting pose of the series, and I think you hit the nail on the head as to why. Of course, this is pretty OOC for her, but I think that if she were in a pensive mood she could share plenty of sage insights on life.
Reply
:iconarrjaysketch:
ArrJaySketch Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
My reply is a bit late, but I heard something really interesting in an interview with Lauren Faust. She considered Applejack to be one of the smarter ponies in the group. While Twilight is very book-smart, Applejack would have a lot of sage, practical knowledge to share.

That makes me love AJ even more! :)
Reply
:iconmerkleythedrunken:
MERKLEYtheDRUNKEN Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013
I love it when wise words meet great art!
Reply
:iconkarkovice1:
karkovice1 Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2013
:iconyodaplz: :iconsays3plz: Use The Force, you must!
Reply
:iconalmightybooda:
almightybooda Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2013
Love the quote. Deep stuff
Reply
:iconquadforcefive:
QuadForceFive Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nice choice of colors for the background! Glad to see it came out so well.
Also thanks for using my title. I'm kind of proud of that.
Reply
:icontopgull:
TopGull Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks man! I almost just left it as black text on white, but I'm glad I added the color. I've known for a good while that I'm not particularly creative when it comes to titles, but you have a knack for it.

And thanks again for looking this over for me. I don't know if you noticed, but I did elongate her head slightly. Not much, but it does help some.
Reply
:iconbrother-malachai:
Brother-Malachai Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
Nothing like simple country wisdom. XD
Reply
:iconquadforcefive:
QuadForceFive Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The black text on white was nice in its sparsity, too, but I think you made the right choice.
And titles can be the bane of my existence, too... I spend more time than I like to admit coming up with them.
Oh, and I did notice the adjustment on the head size. The whole thing looks more proportional now. Nice stuff!
Reply
:iconkopaleo:
KopaLeo Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Next time, write a Haiku!
Reply
:iconbioshock140:
Bioshock140 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
Applejack sensei.
Reply
:iconbrother-malachai:
Brother-Malachai Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
I prefer Sifu Applejack, but meh, to each their own. XD
Reply
:icondakathi666:
Dakathi666 Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
Enlightning!
Reply
:iconobsequiosity:
Obsequiosity Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That Applejack has solidity and appears to be balancing over a legitimate center of gravity. Color me jealous.
Reply
:iconk4nk4n:
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013
What coincidence, my favourite pony and an alternate version of my favourite Tao Teh Ching quote.
Reply
:iconandrewblood:
andrewblood Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
This is awesome! I will be looking forward to the rest of the series as it comes out. It might be interesting to have a similar series for other groups or families. For example, Pinkie Pie's family which could be seen as religious conservatives with ancient prayers or proverbs (they always gave me a bit of an Amish vibe in episode 23). Or RD could have a series of self-motivational motos or catchphrases, or even a set of advertisements, for sportswear, or a new energy drink, etc. Maybe I'll keep some of my other ideas to myself and start drawing my own series... Hmmm.
Reply
:iconuseraccount:
useraccount Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
My personal headcanon is that earth-ponies tend to have very tight-knit families, and the immense wisdom that comes with it. Not to mention their connection to the planet is stronger than the other two races, which leads to greater strength in both body (naturally hardier than unicorns and pegasi) and will (excellent determination), as well as a longer lifespan on average.
Reply
:iconuseraccount:
useraccount Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I always imagined unicorns/earth-ponies/pegasi having a "mind/body/spirit" connection. Like other people said, if this was a shirt, I'd wear it!
Reply
:iconhyena-yena:
Hyena-Yena Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I'd love to see the Mane 6 done like this...
Reply
:iconys-cordelan:
Ys-Cordelan Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Looking forward to the rest.
Reply
:iconakailv:
akaiLV Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Interesting! I like the pose and the style fits with the tone you seem to be going for.
Reply
:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
I look forward to seeing what the other Apple ponies say.
Reply
:icongreenrob:
Greenrob Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
really well done. so just asking can you make the other ponys like this
Reply
:icon621chopsuey:
621Chopsuey Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
:iconirohplz: Well done, Applejack. Now, how about a warm cup of jasmine tea?
Reply
:iconamrasfelagund:
AmrasFelagund Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013
Very sage, AJ. Sometimes, wisdom can be found by those we perceive as the simplest.
Reply
:icondigoraccoon:
Digoraccoon Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohhh, nice balance.
Reply
:icongroxthemaster:
GroxTheMaster Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is beautifull
Reply
:iconkwfox:
KWFox Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
AJ should do shrooms more often.
Reply
:iconratchet-wrench:
Ratchet-Wrench Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This needs to be a T-shirt. I would wear the buck out of it.
Reply
:iconrainbowdash-rainboom:
RainbowDash-Rainboom Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013  Student General Artist
I was gonna ask the same thing
Reply
:icontopgull:
TopGull Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks! I've heard that from a couple of people now. If there's enough demand, I might just have to look into it.
Reply
:iconratchet-wrench:
Ratchet-Wrench Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, let me know if you do! Also, if the interest is small, you could always use a site like customink.com to order a few shirts to turn around and sell, sort of like commissions I guess.
Reply
:iconpastorjwallen:
pastorjwallen Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Agreed. I would absolutely buy this on a shirt.
Reply
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