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Time Well Spent by Noben Time Well Spent by Noben
Birthday present for thekitfox on Furaffinity. <3
To everyone: Please stop with the bong and drug references, that's not what this picture is about or has in it at all. Please research "hookah" before you make stupid comments.




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Nestled underneath the bowling alley in Ponyville, lies a little shop called Arcadia's Arcade. It is owned by the Equestrian Video Game Championship Winner Arcadia Anne Fevõre, also known as Arcade Fever.

As a teenager Arcadia was a founding member of and participant in the first ever video game tournament that was to be held in her hometown of Ponyville. She won the competition hooves down against the local gaming champ Short Fuse and gained some small amount of notoriety in the blossoming gaming circuit. After a few long years of touring cities and gaming conventions, Arcadia longed to settle down. So she bought a small building in a strip-mall connected to the bowling alley and there is where she set up her dream, her arcade.

Shortly before the arcade's grand opening, Short Fuse found the place and raided the high scores because she had a bad day and wanted somepony else to have one too. She had gotten all but one of the high scores set in the Challenge Corner of the arcade, Arcadia saw this as a slap to the face and issued a challenge to the pegusass (one part mule, one part pegasus, all sass.). The battle was intense, but in the end, they emerged newly forged friends.

Here, in the aftermath of a Pinkie fueled grand opening party we find them tucked away into Arcadia's back office, the two friends enjoying some simple magic.

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I got a lot of weird assumptions about the hookah stuff over the course of streaming this pic, so I'd like to go ahead and answer a couple of the questions I get about hookah.

Smoking hookah is like a cigar, the taste of the smoke is the focus, not inhaling smoke.

The stuff they're smoking is flavored tobacco, referred to as shisha. It's surprisingly good. (take this from someone that only started smoking hookah in 2012) The smell isn't of anything you'd expect from the idea of smoking anything. The only lingering smell of the hookah comes from the coals that burn on top. Which is just charcoal, basically.

Shisha is not pot. You don't get high off of smoking hookah. Let me repeat this for the people out there that don't seem to understand this: A HOOKAH IS NOT FOR DRUGS. In fact, smoking such things in a hookah can ruin it, as well as the taste for future smoking. The smell and taste can invade the hoses, the vase and everything and it won't wash out.

The smoke is cold, because it's cooled by water. Sometimes in the hose you got a spot to put a frozen plastic thing there that makes it even colder.

The reason I do it is because I like the flavors. For me it's a snack of some sort, but when you have other people around it becomes a social thing. And I had folks tell me that the only way to “get it” would be to sit around and participate. It's not for everyone.


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Lots of hours in Paint Tool SAI.

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic belongs to Hasbro.
Arcade Fever belongs to Gabby <3
Short Fuse is ... ahem.. my own original character thing.. Yeah. I made one. I guess.. okay... Look, I'm a furry first but I guess at this point I'll admit to have gone into the realm of brony.. She's pretty much modeled completely after me, only cute. (she's even transgender, that's why the hoofy fluff) =-p
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:iconquent0s:
First off, let me state that this a first for me. I have never given a critique with all ★★★★★ ratings. Here is why this piece earned it:

Vision: I would call the 'vision' the overall flash of genius, the spark of a piece. It is one of those things that is greater than the sum of its parts, if done correctly. All the little things blend and morph into a picture that conveys a message: "This is a special place." The child-like simplicity of Equestria manages to remain a stanchion, an anchor, that the artist has added more grown up nuances to, rather than replaced with.

Originality: An entire backstory was created for the piece, and both of the characters in our main focus are unique, yet they have rich, believable histories.

Technique: What initially draws me to anything by noben is the quality of her work. This is no different. The shading, the level of detail (properly diluted as you move from the center of the piece, keeping the focus on what is important) and the color pallet are wonderfully tasteful. I hesitate to call anything in art perfect, as perfection is subjective, but this is pretty much there.

Impact: Do you get that I'm head-over-heels about this piece? I would only write a critique in two circumstances: The painting is mind-blowingly beautiful or horrific. This is quite certainly the former!

Thank you for this art, Noben. It is truly beautiful.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
26 out of 26 deviants thought this was fair.

:icondakuu75:
Well, first off, I have to thank you for emphasizing in your description what a "Hookah" is and after a brief research on the subject it gives me the impression of a friendly "peace pipe" sort of interaction between friends similar to that of wine tasting or sampling fine/imported cheese. Personally, I'm curious about trying a Hookah myself because the idea of inhaling cold smoke seems like a rather unique and different idea than that of simply smoking a regular cigarette.

About the art: I can immediately tell that an enormous amount of work went into this piece because the level of detail in every little portion all over the board is flat-out impressive. I can respect that the construction of the building seems to have been thoroughly thought about because the smoking area is in a distant room away from the actual arcade machines so as to not annoy any customers or patrons that might be particularly sensitive to the smoke.

I'm really enjoying the joyful facial expressions on the main character's faces and the pac-man homage that the yellow one is producing via a small piece of illusionary magic. (A little advice: if you have multiple OCs, some people [such as myself] might have trouble telling which is which, with only a name to go by. Like, I assume the yellow one is Short Fuse but, I could be Face-Palm-Wrong. So, next time add a small piece of physical description next to their names, just to make things easier for us that aren't familiar with your characters.)

About the colors: The hue's and tones of everything are just magical. In my own personal opinion, I really feel like I'm in an underground building with just a little bit of a middle eastern flare to it (mainly because of the archway and cobblestone looking floor).

This piece really leaves me with the lasting impression that I wish I could go there and hang out with ponies because they both seem like really cool dudes hanging out in a totally radical place, I truly envy these two bros. And I'm sorry to say I couldn't find a single constructive critique to offer you because this entire project seems borderline perfect to my eyes, bro. Kudos~
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
4 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:icontomfraggle:
TomFraggle Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2015
Looks amazing & well done!  :clap:
Reply
:iconbadlydrawnturtle:
BadlyDrawnTurtle Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Excellent picture.

I must point out though, that tobacco is a drug. It doesn't matter that you're focusing on the flavor, rather than getting it in your lungs. That just means you're more likely to get mouth cancer than lung cancer.
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015
Actually you don't have to, you're just kind of being kind of a dick.  How many acceptable pictures of people with cigars and cigarettes do you see on DeviantArt vs the amount of say pot smoking for instance (something hookah is commonly mistaken for), and as a result how people view both in a vastly different light.  The scale is tipped quite in a bias'd and "acceptable" direction.  I live in a placed where smoking cigarettes can be done just outside of the doorway to a business and beer is sold in every corner market.  If it's called a drug around here, then this is woodstock every day.  All warnings are written on the tin of shisha, just like cigarettes and cigars.  If you wish to go around to every pic on DA with a cigar or cigarette with the warning, you got a lot of work cut out for you.

As far as drugs are concerned there are the hard facts and there is social acceptance of the facts, and then there's outright being wrong about the use of a hookah, so please don't rain on my parade.
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Hidden by Owner
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015
Welcome to my block list. I tried to be nice, but you're just being a dick at this point. Good day, sir.
Reply
:iconkoaga645:
koaga645 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wait, is that Luna in the background?
Reply
:iconkoaga645:
koaga645 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
And now I am educated about Hookah.
Reply
:icondavidcurser:
DavidCurser Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2015
Metalband posters, games and drugs, huh? Well I have o idea about those charakters, the setting and detail in this one is but very nice.
Reply
:iconangelic-rhapsody:
angelic-rhapsody Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
Wanna make a comment, but I don't know what to say.  Hm.

Let's just settle with: "This is an awesome picture, and I have no idea why I like it so much."

Hm.
Reply
:iconndogmario:
ndogmario Featured By Owner May 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hmmm. I like the sound of this hookah. I might try it.
Reply
:iconspawnofmetroid:
spawnofmetroid Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
really good representation. I really like this one. Keep doing more of these two please. (And, I dont know how, I instantly thought of a hookah when I saw it, not lying)
Reply
:iconcosmic-brownie:
Cosmic-Brownie Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that I've been educated about hookahs... very interesting, actually o3o I honestly didn't know they aren't meant for smoking marijuana. Well, the more you know 8D

(lovely pic too, btw. The colors are very nice.)
Reply
:iconflyboy-6cm:
flyboy-6cm Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I just adore this picture. Not much art gets to me anymore, but this one did. I just keep staring at it and finding more and more detail.
Reply
:iconmisterkaos:
MisterKaos Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This speaks to me on some many levels......also.....
:iconderpyhappyplz::iconsaysplz:Yay!  Bubbles!:iconsaysendplz:
Reply
:iconmiguelballi:
miguelballi Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013
the one on the left has amazing eyes. I wish my OC's eyes were like that.
Reply
:iconsnowy-kun:
Snowy-kun Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2013
This is awesome! Nice! ^^
Reply
:iconaskolei:
Askolei Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2013
that's cute ^^
Reply
:iconz4k474k:
Z4K474K Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
oh my glob YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!! Hoohka is one of my favorite past times ever, and this picture is just so beautiful!the colors, composition, perspective, content, characters, friggin pacman, I cannot give it higher praise!! Excellent work!
Reply
:icongemini-mystica:
Gemini-Mystica Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2013
I'm not a smoker at all; but I do like hookah when friends bring theirs over. The flavors are awesome. :3
~Gemi
Reply
:iconaki-tenshi:
AKI-TENSHI Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Student General Artist
I love the vibe of this image , before I read the description am like that what me and my friend use too do, chill and talk about games and art.
Also I love the Pac-man and classic Joystick reference in the image
Reply
:iconrheamoon:
Rheamoon Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2013  Student General Artist
I see no drugs...but BUBBLEEES!!! OO XD
Reply
:icondakathi666:
Dakathi666 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
nice
Reply
:iconthunderbolt3000:
thunderbolt3000 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
AMAZING< Truly beautiful <3
Reply
:iconcjllatt:
cjllatt Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
Aracade games aaaaaaaand hookah~? Sounds like my kinda place :3.
Reply
:iconaroy9:
Aroy9 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
I'm interested in this Hookah now, might try it out for myself at one point

Reply
:iconsevenofeleven:
sevenofeleven Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
Thanks for the info.
I see the equipment and wonder about it.

Looks great.
Reply
:iconeasyridin:
easyridin Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
I've smoked a hookah before. Yes the flavor is good depending on what you use. My friend tried a little of whatever they had to offer. I remember I would take such long drags that I would get so dizzy and sick feeling that I wouldn't eat anything before hand and wouldn't drive until the dizzyness wore off. Good times. 
Reply
:iconrhjunior:
RHJunior Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Professional Artist
An interesting interpretation--- a hookah as a sort of magical game system, where the two participants use the smoke to cast battling illusions...
I may swipe the concept for a fanfic :D

What kind of flavors can you get out of a hookah?
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
That's not what it is. It's just Arcade Fever going "Hey, watch this...". Nothing more. Sometimes it's just the simpler things, thats what this picture is.


Shisha is like the jelly bean of the tobacco world, there are flavors of nearly everything.
Reply
:iconobriant:
OBriant Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013
omg i love hookah. this makes me want to go to a hookah bar right now! really great Picture! it struck home!


Reply
:iconrobored:
RoboRed Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Wacky hookah.
Reply
:iconcajobif:
cajobif Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Now, that's one awesome work.

With the details, idea behind it with the pegasus and unicorn having a good and relaxing time together with the atmosphere of games and such. You really draw ponies beautifully and adorably. Well, they are adorable from the start, but they really good in your style.

Pegadeth made me chuckle.
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
With Dave Mustang as the lead.


Thank you, I try. (also, specifically she's a Pegusass, part pegasus, part mule lol)  And thanks for looking at the details. <3
Reply
:iconrockbox1590:
Rockbox1590 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome work, as usual. I love your pony style!
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Thanks, I'm glad it's appreciated. <3
Reply
:iconlazyfiz:
LazyFiz Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Tried hookah once (though we called it shisha).
My lung could not handle it.
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
"hookah" is the actual smoking device.  Shisha is the stuff you smoke.
It's not for everyone. And there's also if you have the coals too hot, drew in too much breath, you breathed it all into your lungs rather than just tasted the smoke. Any number of factors could be involved to make a bad "hit" off of a hookah.
Reply
:iconlazyfiz:
LazyFiz Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ah, okay.
Thank you for the information.
Reply
:iconxavier-win:
Xavier-win Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
420 BLAZE IT UP!
Reply
:iconmisterkaos:
MisterKaos Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I concur!  :smoking::weed:
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Not that wise a thing to do on a hookah. ^_^
 Read the description please.
Reply
:iconuseraccount:
useraccount Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Okay, so you DON'T get high from using a hookah.  It's like...what?  Drinking flavored smoke?
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Description has the info.
Reply
:iconapplejack2011:
Applejack2011 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
So cool
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:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Thanks.
Reply
:iconderpybloom:
DerpyBloom Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Wallpaper resolution please 1920x1080 or 1366x768^^
Reply
:iconnoben:
Noben Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
Thanks. And eh, it's the size as it is. Click download for the full size, should be big enough to cover most resolutions. ^^
Reply
:iconquent0s:
Quent0S Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconthisplz:
Reply
:iconderpybloom:
DerpyBloom Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2013
<3 awesome art
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