Big Personality! (Little Else Known)

Trying to pin down what Amygdala Wroth looks like has been tricky from the start because, unlike with the majority of my characters, I just jumped in assuming that she looked like me.

Not identical to, but like. And like can mean any number of things.

“And oh, Amygdala was so very happy. So excited. Her eyes sparkled like the world.” (Harkness, “Odd Pod”)

Often, when one hears a Person of Color talk about someone who looks like them, they mean merely someone who shares their race. By that measure, the only criteria for Amygdala’s appearance would be ‘apparently Black, apparently female’. Worlds of wiggle room, there – and at that point, nothing to differentiate her from Couch, until the narrative lists some dragon-specific features that will necessarily set the roommates’ looks apart.

Her presence turns his pathetic closet into a different world. A world half again as small, of course, but twenty times as bright. (Telemachus Cannon, “Chess Not Checkers”)

Eventually, we see Amygdala describe her hair as ‘wisteria-like’. When I wrote it, I intended to evoke the full, fluffy shape of a blooming wisteria tree bough. It wasn’t until I started fooling around with online dollmakers ‘n’ such that I realized Amygdala may have also been describing her hair’s color – a sort of soft purple-pink.

So, hair: Check. Skin: Brown. …Though I wasn’t 100% clear on the shade of brown. Darker than Harkness’s ‘a brown more creamy-fair’ was all I had in mind for sure. But what in relation to Couch? I didn’t want my brain to default to the assumption that Couch – as the dangerous, monstrous, moody one – was the darker of the two. That would be colorist AF. And in the title image I’ve been using since Big City, Little Magics” went up on Wattpad, the Amygdala face ended up being quite a dark shade of brown indeed – which, for all I knew or cared at the time, may have been close enough to her truth.

On the other hand, there were my collection of Picrew avatars and whatnot, in which her skin sported a rainbow of browns, some of them rather light.

Mixed messages a-go-go! Part of that, of course, being due to the limitations of the medium (it’s Picrew; you get the palette you get), the rest being my own indecisiveness.

In her voice is all the power of the ocean. In her eyes, all the blessings of the stars. (Manchester Leif, “Big Feels, Unlimited Magics”)

More than a year now into the BCLM-verse, I believe I’ve decided on where to land. First idea, best idea: Amygdala looks like me. Her face is her own, but our skin tones more or less match. Lordy, though, was that face of her own hard to reach on ArtBreeder! I may have accidentally spent something like two hours trying to manipulate images into a semblance of hers.

But fortune favors the persistent! I am hella happy with the results of my latest labors. Behold ye!

More than wisteria-like hair, more than a Danielle-like complexion, we’ve got that unmistakable, instantly recognizable sunny sparkle spirit. This picture isn’t just her face. It is Amygdala Wroth.