How I Discovered Wraith and Why This Hobby

Someone asked how I found Stargate Wraith and got into drawing them.

Discovering SGA was all by lucky chance. Back in the 90’s, I had seen the original movie on the big screen, but didn’t know about the spinoff TV series. Years later, on a whim, because my hair was getting more and more white strands which I do not color over, I searched for ‘long white hair’, just for fun, to see what natural hair like that could look like and to see such characters. Todd appeared in the results. At first, I thought he was an OC and was taken in by the fun sci-fi ray guns and mysterious and colorful, natural-looking backgrounds.

When I learned the Wraith were supposed to be the antagonists of the show, I was disappointed there would not be cross-cultural, intergalactic adventures with them. None of us get to choose our lifeforms when we are born and what we do with our lot is more important. Others who agreed told me to watch “Common Ground.” I did, liked it a lot, and then went back and watched all of the SGA episodes.

There are so precious few photos of each Wraith, especially off-duty times not affected by war and some characters more than others, such as my favorite one. So, I wanted to create my own pictures, to show stories which the show did not get to tell. Especially with the software, I had no idea what I was doing, and didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I have been using free software and started with a portrait with eyes closed and meditating because I found eyes are more detailed and intimidating. I was using a mouse and small monitor and made a lot of technical errors, such as re-opening .jpgs instead of .pngs and losing image quality every time I opened and edited the paintings. I didn’t know to save the .xcf project files! I didn’t know how to do layers at the time either. Many of my earlier works, which are not as detailed, actually still took me just as long or longer as they do now. That computer and monitor are long gone and I also bought a cheap Wacom, which is easier on the wrists.

So, 7 years later, I am still doing this hobby and my hair is still getting more white, as probably also many other people here following SGA. I’ve moved more from learning technical software things to emphasizing the more universal concepts which brought me to the Wraith to begin with: we are not these bodies, we are more alike than different, and beauty and heroism can be found everywhere.