"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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Good grief, Brendan was going to give him whiplash. Jae wasn't too surprised at how quickly and easily he backed down, but the sudden heaping of compliments on him was a bit much. Part of him wanted to push back further, really put Brendan in his place, but the half-finished canvas off to his side reminded him that more important things were waiting. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, and turned away from Brendan again.

"Yeah, actually, it does sound pretty creepy, but do whatever the fuck you want I guess." He waved a hand in Brendan's general direction to indicate his lack of caring on this particular point. He climbed back onto his stool and put his earbuds back in, scrolling through his playlists until he found a suitable one for his new inspiration. Energy was what he needed. The good kind, that consuming kind that let you focus completely on a project, not the angry, tightly-coiled desire to lash out that came from their argument. Hearing another rumble of thunder outside, Jae decided to turn his volume down just a bit to hopefully keep from being taken by surprise by the weather again.

Music chosen, he looked over his canvas with a critical eye. He was thinking of brightening both the bird and the man opposite to it, rather than darkening the background; he hadn't spent hours of his life sketching out detailed buildings in the back just to make them all blend together. Maybe a sort of halo effect in the foreground would work instead...

Jae fiddled with one of his lip rings as he thought, picking up his brush in his other hand and rolling it between his fingers. Brendan, their argument, and the godforsaken weather were all beginning to fade away into the background of his awareness again, and that was the way he preferred it.
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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Black Kingdom, Red Kingdom · East Wing