You know me by now, at least a little bit. I’m very much inspired by nature.
Nature provides more than food, or space, or fresh air. To many, it provides inner peace. I’m happy for those people.
However, what I have always felt (as someone with severe ADD whose mind is running all the time, all the time, all the time…) is that nature is so full of detail that it does not bring me any peace.
And I love it.
My father’s favourite place is the Morton Arboretum, in Illinois. He’s taken the family there since my sisters and I were children. I thank him for the gift of those memories.
I never want to forget the impact trees and their world have had on me, even more than an exact picture or a piece of the forest. So I draw those feelings over, and over, and over.
Sometimes at the end of a toothpaste tube I’ll give up on trying to squeeze every last bit out when it seems thin enough to me. Other people will buy specific tools to make sure they do not waste and probably get more out.
Some of my drawings are the toothpaste at the end of the tube and I’m happy to give them up but also very happy for their service. Every single thing I draw is going to help me draw the other thing. That’s why I love drawing; I’ve never wasted a moment.
I admire the people who waste less than me, but I easily let things go, so I know they can admire me too. But nothing ever stops me from trying to get as much as I can out of everything in my life. I’m not about to throw a half-full tube away.
When I’m feeling ill, like I am today, I get nostalgic. Nostalgia is a powerful force! It can start up my inspiration.
I was reminded today that I used to draw mehendi-inspired designs all over the place when I was a pre-teen and teenager in Mauritius. I had already seen some of the beautiful motifs of the Indian subcontinent after living as a child for a few years in Oman. But it was when I hit double digits hit that I truly began to draw!
The motifs come up unconsciously when I doodle. Here I am using the inspiration consciously. It came with ease.
This is fanart, in a way. But I didn’t draw it on some loving whim, although there’s nothing negative to be said about those who do such things. Expressing your love, even for creations of others, is quite a beautiful thing. It’s just not what I do, not exactly. Just…in a way, like I said.
I prepared a one-off tabletop RPG adventure for two of my friends to take place over 2-3 hours. My friends designed their characters as having recently died and now, after death, they had to face a set of challenges to get into Heaven. I hence called the “The Afterlife One-Off.”
The main NPC they interacted with was Manny from Grim Fandango; he acted as their shepherd through the adventure. I could have chosen anything or anyone, but I chose my favourite character. I drew for many aspects of the game, but I didn’t really “need” to draw Manny. This was a nice visual to put up on the screen (we were playing over Discord) at the start of the game. I could have used a picture from Grim Fandango itself I guess, but I wanted to draw him. And so I did.
My fanart, in my way. Now I can say that I fondly took the time to draw Manny Calavera even when I don’t typically draw anyone else’s characters. That, to me, is a special love.
I can draw pretty fast, now that I think about it. But I don’t think fast is good, so I try to slow myself down.
Speed has its place, but not always.
I’m on vacation right now in Qatar, and everywhere I look is art.
I don’t usually draw on holiday, but what I tend to do instead is draw as I remember, as a way to process. Some of the best things come out of it.
I always say I don’t know what I’m drawing. That’s mostly true. Sometimes I know just enough for me to draw. Asking questions beyond that, I feel like I’m making things up.
Here’s an example of the most I could possibly say: The apple-shaped creature in the middle is one I’ve drawn a lot. I don’t really know what it is, but at least I can say I know it’s alive.
Seriously, uh, you don’t.
I’m 28 turning 29 soon and I think I only just figured that out, to be real with you. I think that people who succeed are people who find a way to not give a damn about what doesn’t work.
Back to the older version of me before I updated and fixed the bug where I arbitrarily named everything I drew.
Seems superfluous but getting rid of unnecessary things feels relieving.
And really – does everything need a name, all the time?
I was designing an alien world and imagined what I called a “defensive” plant.