- Confessions of a Hypnofetishist, Ramblings of a Writer/Artist
The Story of Chibi-Dina
- April 29, 2022
If you remember from my post about my early days as a hypnofetishist, I promised that if people were interested I would talk more about Chibi-Dina and how she came to be. Well, people over at my Patreon were interested, so I decided to write up a few words about this my cuter and chibi-er self-representation.
I have been clear, or at least I’ve tried very hard to be clear, that for all intents and purposes, Chibi-Dina is me. A fictionalized version of me, true, but not a separate character like Lynessa or Lady Vidia. A self-insert, of you will. But she’s also distinct from my real life self in how she clearly lives in some weird inbetween state between fiction and reality, her continuity is loose at best, and of course in reality I’m quite tall and not that good-looking; not at all like the cute little hobbit I draw Chibi-Dina as. But as for her personality, interests, quirks and flaws, she’s me. Or at least me such as I see myself.
So what brought on the need for Chibi-Dina? Well, I touched upon it in that previous post, when I talked about how some encounters with certain predatory members of the hypnofetish community caused me to not only take a long break from the online hypnofetish scene, but also change my online handles and overall online identity. It was when I returned full-blown — this time mostly as a content creator because I was more interested in the creative side of the hypno-community than the hypno-sessions or the master/slave dynamic or what have you — that I decided I needed an avatar. A “buffer” between me and the other hypnofetishists, as it were.
I hadn’t really had an avatar before, not one that represented ME. Most of the time (especially after the encounters with the predatory people) I’d mostly been known by Internet handles that were linked to characters I’d created. and used for stories and roleplays, as a way of keeping a certain distance between my real self and the goings-on of the Internet. But while that certainly helped, after a while it felt a little… insincere. Like I wasn’t really sharing MY thoughts and feelings, but my characters’. And my characters frequently don’t have the same thoughts and feelings about things as I do.
Nope, I needed an avatar. A self-insert. A fictionalized version of me. In short, a character who could do and say the same things I would do and say, and hold the opinions I do, but still be distinct enough from my real life self that if I decided to play along with some jokey hypno-RP, I could make it plain that it was only for show and that nobody had the right to try and hypnotize me into giving them free art. But I would have a stand-in for comics, stories and eventual crossover stories that might need a representation of me.
I settled on making a chibi. It felt like the most natural thing; chibis are cute and usually not that detailed, and would be easy to draw if I needed to get out a “self-portrait” rather quicker.
Of course, I hadn’t actually drawn any chibis before. So it took a bit of trial and error before I managed to figure out the style, not to mention create a character I could feel represented ME. But I finally found a design that I was pretty satisfied with:
As you can see, the design isn’t quite what it would become. The face is almost circular, the eyes are smaller and differently shaped, the eyebrows are longer and slimmer, and the belly is smaller. But you can definitely recognize Chibi-Dina in her earliest state. I literally took what I was wearing at the time and turned it into what would become Chibi-Dina’s first “default” outfit; the red polo shirt and the black pants, with no shoes or socks. (Nowadays, of course, I’ve swapped the red shirt out for a pink one.
Then, after a few more drawings, I decided that to get really comfortable drawing Chibi-Dina, I’d do something I had put off for a very long time: I was going to do Nyu’s Art Meme on DeviantArt.
(Despite what the meme says, I’m actually ambidextrous, not left-handed. It’s just that I got used to thinking of myself as left-handed because I favour my left hand for things like writing and drawing. Other things like sewing or fencing or puppeteering, I’m more likely to use my right hand.)
You can see how the Chibi-Dina design evolves slightly over the course of the meme; while the face and eyes would take some time yet to reach their final design, the body and proportions get pretty much settled here, establishing Chibi-Dina as a chubby little hobbit. There are still some weird design bits there… check out those TEETH!… but all in all we have a pretty recognizable Chibi-Dina here.
This was also the first time I drew a chibi-version of Sovanna (I needed a character to point out the weirdness of changing the title of the art meme, and Sovanna just fit the bill), an that was what led to what became more or less one of the most consistent rules for Chibi-Dina: Even for a chibi, she’s tiny. I’d drawn her as being approximately 2 1/2 heads tall, to give her that “short. squat” look, which worked well.. but for Sovanna, her slender body seemed too flimsy, like it wouldn’t be able to hold up her disproportionately large head. So I made her three heads tall instead… and this became the standard propositions for most of my chibi characters. The result being that, barring tiny creatures like pixies and such, Chibi-Dina is consistently the smallest character I draw. It does make her look cuter and more vulnerable, which fits her role in the majority of my stories.
For fun, I then did what was going to be the start of The Chibi-Dina Chronicles, namely the four panel comic, Chibi-Dina Gets Hypnotized. I got a lot of positive response for it, which led me to follow it up with the rather longer Chibi-Dina’s Hypno-Presentation, which also introduced the chibi version of Lady Vidia and established another rule for my chibis: Chibi characters that are meant to look exceptionally tall, imposing or powerful can be between four and five heads tall. I was literally making this up as I went along. But those two comics really solidified Chibi-Dina as a comics character, and she’d of course go on to star in many more comics… a huge number of which had her end up hypnotized and often naked, because, well… hypnofetish. No point in having a self-insert if you can’t occasionally live out your fantasies through her.
Of course, there were a few hiccups along the way. Especially in Chibi-Dina’s earlier days, back before I put a limit to my free requests, I got TONS of DMs over DeviantArt and Twitter, all of them asking more or less the same thing: “Can you draw me hypnotizing Chibi-Dina?” or more often “can you draw me hypnotized alongside Chibi-Dina?” Most of these requests came from people I had never spoken to before and whom I didn’t know at all, which kind of made the entire thing rather awkward. I was happy people seemed to like Chibi-Dina, but some of those requests really crossed a few lines I wasn’t comfortable with…. either that, or they were just boring. Sure, Chibi-Dina was meant to be a “buffer,” but that didn’t mean I’d want to agree to everything for her.
And so I made yet another rule: Chibi-Dina would only appear in drawings, comics and stories where I actually liked the idea. I wouldn’t subject her to anything I found uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have her say or do anything I wouldn’t say or do, and I CERTAINLY wouldn’t involve her in anything I found boring. (I would sometimes waiver the rule if it was a paid commission, but for the most part no.) Better to go with quality over quantity. Those rules were strict enough that I found them effective, but vague enough that I could make exceptions if I needed to.
Nowadays I don’t get many requests for Chibi-Dina. The novelty may have worn off, or my rules may have scared people off. I don’t know. I’m perfectly fine with this, though… I think I much prefer her appearances to actually be representative of ME than force her through all sorts of scenarios or routines that doesn’t work for her.
(Though a slight amendment here… if anyone wants to draw fan art of Chibi-Dina, you’re free to draw what you like. That’d be YOUR take on her, and I always did enjoy seeing other people’s interpretations of my characters.)