(AKA, my unintentional first business venture.)
When I was in 5th grade, I liked to draw. Not with any seriousness of an aspiring artist, of course—my creative endeavors went in other well known directions over the years. But at the time, I enjoyed doodling fantasy creatures of my own design. Quetzalcoatl-esque dragons, weird monsters, and for one brief but important period of my life, a species I dubbed “Chinkin warriors.”
(Before I go on, I need to be clear: it’s pronounced CHIN-kin. The “k” is on the second syllable. The “n” is not the same “n” sound as in the word “ink.” Any resemblance to any terrible slurs is an unfortunate coincidence. I didn’t know about that word when I was a sheltered ten year old.)
These little dudes were fun and simple to draw. They had weird slender bodies with swords coming out of their hands and/or arms, tails and claws on their feet, furry legs and furry heads… Yeah, they’re basically furries.
The “lore” of the species was as basic as it looks: they’re badass looking creatures, and they fight each other. End of story! But also, individual Chinkins had names, and their naming scheme was that they could only use the short “i” vowel sound. I was weirdly insistent on that point.
So what did I decide to do with my base Chinkin creature design, which I quickly realized was full of room for customization? Sell them, of course! And so began my first business venture: drawing personalized Chinkin warriors for my classmates to “adopt” for 5 cents each. All I’d ask for was an acceptable name, and I’d draw them a thematically appropriate Chinkin to the best of my ability.
(I’d also draw an extra copy for myself, because hell if I was going to let myself forget a single detail of all this beautiful craftsmanship.)
In total, I made 15 unique Chinkin designs (16 if you count the unnamed base design from the original drawing) and I sold 11 of them to friends and other kids in school. The ones I didn’t sell, I either made just for myself or (in the case of one) I drew in case anyone wanted a pre-made design.
So, I made a grand total of 55 cents from what amounted to nearly a dozen art commissions. A laughably low rate to our 2023 sensibilities, but it was clearly never about the money. I think I only gave them a price tag as an excuse to treat the whole thing as seriously as I did. Drawing a bunch of weirdly muscular furry swordsmen for fun, but without guilt because it was totally a real legitimate business, trust me, there’s profits involved and everything, I’ll do my homework later, mom and dad, first I have to draw this Chinkin for someone in my history class!
(Seriously, how did I never realize before that these were just furries?)
The Complete Chinkin Gallery
Fishkin – One of my favorite designs. It has a harpoon for a sword, some strands of seaweed for its tail, gills, and I don’t know what the deal is with its legs, but I think they’re strangely fitting.
Killkin – This one was created for my school’s only goth kid. Watch yourself around his legs; they’re pretty edgy.
Finkin – It has fins on its back and its arms… and its sides… Okay, at some point that HAS to stop being aerodynamic.
Ripkin – Probably the most generic design of them all. But that’s okay, because I made this one for myself.
Dinkin – I guess this one’s “thing” is that he meditates?
Sinkin – Because Killkin wasn’t edgy enough. In fact, I bet Killkin and Sinkin are mortal enemies and are always fighting each other, probably with some kind of tragic backstory between them. I declare it canon. Also… Is that supposed to be a lightsaber?
Vickin – Hahaha why does he have a tattoo hahahaha
Shibkin – He has a beard and a lightning sword and he’s just completely mesmerized by the fact that he has enough fingers to make a fist.
“Princekin, the Royal Warrior” – I drew this one for myself on the back of a bookmark I must have gotten from the school library. Contrary to its literal name and description, a monarchy is NOT canon to Chinkin lore. And, wait… is that crown being held up by his eyebrows?
Hisskin – It’s snake themed. Enough said.
Shibikin – Whoa. This one has a literal arm saw!
Prinkin – I think the theme of this one is that I tried to make it “prickly.”
Winkin – He’s smiling because I guess I ran out of ideas for mouths at that point.
Squidkin – THIS is the absolute pinnacle of Chinkin design. Look at all those incredible anatomy choices! A bunch of tentacles instead of two legs! Webbed fingers! The vertical eye! Its tail is an entire sentient squid! There’s no beating Squidkin. He’s simply the best there is.
Kinkin – The token “girly” Chinkin. I regret that this was the design I went with for this name prompt. But I don’t regret giving her bulging muscle arms just like all the rest.
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