Today I had no intention of working on this. I began with plans to paint a dream, to clean my office, to edit my book – not to finally create the cover of a story I do not know if I will ever write.
This is the one I’ve had my knickers tied in knots about for years. It is that which got me through the brutal ride of high-school, and into sane lands beyond. But it also carried me, along with it, further; into realms of insanity, and darkness (Umbra).
It is a beautiful cover, and one I am very proud to have finally pieced together. I think the “S” could use more inflection, but it has certainly come a long way from the original 2012 version (which was, interestingly, created at a very similar date).
However, to see it now is a bitter-sweet thing, like the pulling of a tooth. It is certainly very professional, and more than I could ever have hoped for. But I have no book to go with it, and am not ready to write it yet.
I’m thinking now that the only way I could write it would be to finish the series, and then – if ever – return to this; the original, and bring it into line with the rest of the tale. But there would be a lot lost from the three major versions I have, and the results would be heartbreaking (or would they?).
Though I love the original illustrations more, the ones I have now are also beautiful, and technically perfect. And the storyline of the most recent edition is also logical and perfect – but, alas, neither are they the story I am trying to tell, and they certainly weren’t fun to create (I don’t want to be a “good” artist if it’s at the expense of my happiness).
I am an artist, but I don’t like painting realism. I can do it for covers, or the occasional work, but it’s not who I am and trying to do it all the time drove me mad.
It is a wonderful feeling beyond words to see something you imagined standing before you, and I really love and admire artists who can paint fantasy realism as their calling – it’s a truly beautiful skill, and one I’ve wished many times I’ve had. But my talent is different, and unique.
However, I will say I really love my more recent works. Though realism, they utilised it in what is – for me – the best way; symbolically. And if I were to return to that style, symbolically would be the way to do it.
But for now, I have taken a break. My dreams (literally) have been telling me for a long time to return to traditional (physical) art, and so – finally – I have put my ear to the ground, and listened.
My hope is to finish the text for The Littlest Creature (polishing it, that is), and then the illustrations digitally (because it is easier to do it as such, though they will be in a symbolic and artistic manner).
After or during that time I will polish up Sharmie, and then I will illustrate it in a very beautiful and creative way. Art is art, and I have found much inspiration lately in exploring different and new styles. I can only wait to discover what real, physical creation opens up for me.
I am glad I am finally beginning to listen to myself again. It has taken a long time to heal the damage done, and – finally – I feel myself moving 🙂
The Dreaming Sentinel
Perfectionism, I realised through the writing of this article, comes because I am an iNtuitive. If the content is depicted symbolically, the art is the art and that content still exists in my imagination; wonderfully captured, and represented, but nonetheless a separate entity. Therefore the art becomes a fun and explorative experience for the work itself. But if it is realistic, I have to capture that content exactly as it is in my mind and not f*ck it up because that is Exactly-What-It-Looks-Like-and-There-Are-No-Two-Ways-About-It.