I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus due to a huge life event that just happened – my wedding. I didn’t do much drawing or posting here or on Twitter (@khadejalidraw) but right now I’m slowly getting back into things.
I thought I’d start with a sentimental piece, to jump right in!
I’m pretty darn sensitive; most definitely a crier. This piece is about how my extreme emotional states are a beauty and a burden.
There are some things that should be kept to the viewer. However, there is something behind this work that informed my lines. The lens with which I see my life isn’t just coloured by my emotions. My emotions are the lens.
Video games. I play them a lot. I’m reluctantly close to the end of Spider-Man and I’m already thinking about what I’m going to play next.
Something that comes up over and over in video games, often very tediously, is the story of the hero. I get it for the most part, even if this narrative and character can seem repetitive in game after game.
No matter what I say though, I can’t deny how drawn (full pun intended) I am to the hero and their journey, just like everyone else.
So here’s my hero:
Sexless, abstract, colourless. Yep, that’s my hero!
I specifically thought about games like Ninja Gaiden (FULL DISCLOSURE: never played it, only watched) and Risk of Rain (played the ever-loving crap out of it) where you are stuck in between all these enemies and obstacles, and you die over and over trying to get past them.
For this drawing, I chose not to have a clear path for the hero to traverse, which is common in the type of game I’m thinking of. Instead, we see a paused image of them defending themselves stoically against all kinds of nameless terrors.
We all have heroic qualities that we are drawn to, and mine is resilience. That’s what I tried to get across. The hero is reaching out between what is thrown at them to show that they recognise an opening – and they won’t be surrounded by all this crap for much longer.
It’s the scariest thing in the world, to put yourself out there – especially not your “best self.”
I find drawing myself very difficult. It’s also not something that I find as interesting as say, creating a fantasy creature or plant. So, I don’t do it often.
However, I do also enjoy forcing myself to do things I am uncomfortable with. And while I personally don’t think I look like the drawing, I see myself in it anyway, so I’m pleased with it.
It may be interesting that I recognize my hand more than my face in these drawings. Then again, how often do you look at your face? I constantly look at my hands. So this says something about me that I don’t even notice too much about myself.
So, why would I show something on my website that I am not too happy with? Because these sketches force me to confront myself, from the process of drawing to the viewing of it. Things run through my head like memories and personal philosophies. The obvious example: it made me think back to college when I took that one drawing class and did terribly – but gained further understanding of the things I did want to draw. Even now when I look at it, I think about how I see myself, and then how the world sees me. It’s deep stuff!
See? Even in mistake-riddled works, there is value. I say show it all.
My art is a victim of my tendency to rush. This artwork is an example of that. I am very happy with the composition and content, but I can see where taking my time would have made the gradient, lines, and shapes more of what I wanted them to be.
But honestly, I love this piece even with its imperfections. It was such an accomplishment once it felt finished. It’s a hopeful, loving, peaceful depiction of the universe. Between you and me, reader, I’m not the best at depicting the world as…positive. I see things I love about it, but I’m too nihilistic in general. This artwork reflects what good I do see.
I chose grayscale because I only wanted to use one coloured pencil and thought black–since it is sometimes explained as absorbing all colours*–was a good choice. I hope you think so too!
*I did my reading! Check out this link I found handy when I looked up, without shame, “is it true black absorbs all colours” 😉