The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).

For the Love of Ponies

A long time ago, in a fairy tale land far, far away... a pony was born and sent to the world of Django. There it was accepted by the populous and thus became its symbol.

The world was never quite the same again.

The Django Pony is a character that needs no introduction, but it is one that has a bit of an unknown history. As far as anybody knew, the little pink fairy tale pony that would find its way onto memes and onesies was a quick download from a certain MisterElements at iStockPhoto. This past September, it had been a year since the pony was introduced. It had become such a part of the community that I felt that I needed to seek out MisterElements and send thanks from the community.

(I sent this email on September 14th, just to give it some context1. Oh, and apologies if I have my "No, you can't have a pony" history wrong. :x)

Greetings Erik,

My name is Bryan Veloso and I am a web designer and developer based out of Los Angeles.

A year and a week ago, I was at a conference that revolved around a web development framework called Django. The details are potentially uninteresting (I did write about it here), but at that conference, one of the keynote speakers brought up the fact that the framework lacked a mascot—a mascot with magical powers.

When developers wish for features, those features are called "ponies." There have been numerous memes with pictures of ponies and crying children adorned with text that said, "No, you can't have a pony." So in this same vein, I wanted to pick a pony to be Django's mascot. Browsing through iStockPhoto, I stumbled upon your wonderful "Fairy Tale Vector Elements" set and quickly bought it.

The reason I am emailing you today is to thank you for drawing that pony. In the weeks and months following my post, the whole community embraced the concept. A fan site was created for the pony and the core developers of the framework found a tangible mascot as well (even though it's really a unicorn). Recently, somebody even went so far as to get a tattoo of it! Soon after I bought the initial license, I bought an extended license in case we were to make shirts. Everybody else that has needed the pony for presentations, etc, have bought them from you. So, I really hope we've been helping you out (even though it looks like you're doing well for yourself already)!

The email's getting a bit long and I don't want to take much more of your time, but I felt that the love of this pony has come far enough that I felt the urge to reach out to you in thanks. Not only myself, but I'm sure the whole community wishes you the best and would thank you if they could. This pony has become a symbol of our movement. While Twitter has their famous "Fail Whale," I believe we have something even better, and it's thanks to you.

Take care. :)

Cheers, Bryan Veloso

When I pressed send, I had the feeling that it would be one of those messages that would never see a reply. I was sorely mistaken as two weeks later, Erik, aka Mr E. sent me a reply.

Hi Bryan,

Thank you so much for the wonderful email!! My apologies for taking so long to write back. I've been swamped lately and kept putting off responding until I had some time to sit down a write a proper thank you. The images were great- I cannot believe someone actually got that unicorn tattoo! Would anyone mind if I added that image to my blog? I certainly wouldn't want to add it without permission, but its such a great image!

I am very flattered and pleased the unicorn image has spoken to everyone and bought so much fun to the community. It's a real pleasure to get an email like this. Usually I have very little contact with customers who buy my stock art so in most cases I don't get to see how the art is finally used. But in this case I am lucky enough to see it, so thank you again!

Best wishes, Erik

Hopefully it put a smile on your face as it did mine. As designers and developers, I'm sure a lot of us have been the recipients of messages from grateful consumers of our work--whether it be large or small. I felt showing Erik our support for his art was the least we could do to thank him.

If you would like to see more of his work, he has a Flickr stream and there's his library on iStockPhoto as well.

  1. I apologize that it's taken me so long to post this, as a quick talk with Christian about swag earlier today reminded me of it.
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