Strange Prancing Creatures

Some characters and pictures you slave for ages over, and they take much torturous time to make real – drafts and redrafts because in your mind’s eye they’re not quite concrete and so getting them down on paper isn’t easy. They don’t look quite right, but you’re not sure what ‘right’ is anyway, so drawing them becomes a compromise, a ‘best fit’ between the image you can’t really see clearly in your head and what materialises in practical terms on the page in front of you. That’s usually the normal way things happen – for me at least.

Then you get the anomalies. Those rare and happy times when, for reasons totally unfathomable, unpredictable and impossible to recreate with any certainty, everything flows ridiculously smoothly. I woke up the other morning with these three odd creatures appearing crystal clear in my head – no idea where they had come from except that they leapt fully formed into my consciousness: a curious, unsettling mix of  the sinister and the comic. A gift, really, no effort required in putting them together or working out what they looked like. They were just there. And when I came to put them down on paper it was equally as easy. I knew what paint and pen I’d use, how I’d go about it, what would go where. And it worked first time. In fact, the only thing I’m not so pleased with is the quality of the scan but you can’t have everything.

If only drawing – or any creative endeavour for that matter – could always be so painless and straightforward. I’ll enjoy this moment while it lasts but I suspect it will be business as usual next time I pick up a pencil.

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