atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5882: Artwork

Last night, I found myself looking over the comics I drew years ago, for no really identifiable reason, and here and there I was struck with how this pose, that expression, the other element--little things were done perfectly, but not at all consistently, and not very often.

Expressions were probably my strongest suit; I could usually get some pretty subtle things just right so the expression said exactly what I wanted it to say. Here, a sigh of resignation; there, stunned apprehension; the other place, a longing glance over the shoulder. I could not reproduce those expressions, which is to say "draw them a second time exactly the same", though, which a real artist could do.

My wife says all my characters' faces look alike. What is seen cannot be unseen. *sigh* But even so, I did some really nice work, IMHO.

Here's what it takes for me to draw like that, though: I need to be in a situation where I have to remain at a desk or table for a long period of time, not doing much of anything. I can't have the option of doing anything else; so for example I couldn't go sit at the dining room table right now and whip out drawings like that. (I'm totally rusty; but even ignoring that.)

The best work I've done happened under circumstances like that. In 2000, when I worked as a tech writer and there was a two-week period at the end of the fiscal year where there was no budget for anything. Sitting at the D&D table every other Saturday from late 1997 through 2003, waiting for my turn "on deck". Sitting at the breakroom table in the warehouse when I worked at Target, during the holiday season, waiting for the truck to come from the store. In interminable meetings.

Those were the times when I did my best work.

If I had been able to really train my ability, if I'd dedicated myself to actually learning how to draw manga, I might have developed a reasonable amateur's talent. I doubt I could have ever gone pro, but I took up drawing for my own entertainment, anyway. Too many things got in the way, and my enthusiasm for it waned as time went on.

I still feel like I want to tell these stories, but I don't think they'd work out the same as prose, and I don't think I can really draw them, either.

Well, that's how it goes, I suppose.

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