Revamping the Wall-Spider (Artwork)

Having recently completed the general and rough manuscript for Butterfly Gate and passing it off to a trusted editor, I suddenly have time to work on my other stories and art projects. Re-reading and editing the same 460 page story three times within a week is hard work, but also really engaging and fun for me.

So this week (Spring Break!) has been all about planning new art for my other work-in-progress Saving Hadley and tackling a new arc. I also had time on the side to start writing my third project, Wall-Spider in a more serious capacity. As soon as I finished the rough short story (now chapter one of Wall-Spider) I knew I wanted to take it farther, but I already had a few engulfing projects. It was great to really delve into developing a new book, and infinitely less stressful than the first two times.

It’s a little mind-blowing and encouraging how visible the improvement has been. I started by¬† re-working the short story. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t up to my current standards or style, so I improved the flow and counter-play between the first and third person narration. Then, having a good six months of ideas and notes about where I wanted to take it, barfed out a cool sixty pages, which was a new record for me.

But there’s other clerical work I do when I approach a novel. Part of that was taking the art I’ve already done for Wall-Spider and reworking it.

Before:

Hunger Demon
Hunger Demon

After:

Hunger Demon

The main challenge was retroactively fixing the perspective issues with the first sketch. Then I drew as realistic of a padded cell backing as I could in Photoshop. The rest was simple lighting.

Obviously there are still some lighting and perspective issues, but I felt good about it for a simple three-hour session. One of the main takeaways from this for me is to really spend more time planning perspective. Messing up the two-point as badly as I did on a drawing that was otherwise very solid and emotionally personal/important to who I am was a little silly. I could have avoided the issue by spending two minutes with a compass to measure the two-point, but I free-handed the lines and rolled with it.

Distinctions #1

Happiness,

Most equate you to the seething, euphoric, and acute joy one feels during an accomplishment. That feeling of well-being and contentedness, whispers promising safety as you engulf us. But, that’s not your true face. You’re a conceptual construct, a platform, an unrealistic ideal.

Happily ever after?

How could you exist, when acute joy is so fleeting. Do you refer to a plateau in which we achieve permanence in euphoria, a chronic dose of endorphin-dreams? Those wisps we’d do anything the infuse, to caress, if only for a moment. Pretend, for a moment, that you are real. What then? After a year of the pleasant mist, doesn’t the equilibrium shift? The extraordinary is the new ordinary. Do we want that? Are the ever-shifting dunes of the human mind really that terrible? To fore-go all moments to crystallize our being into a single emotion. That elusive and momentary bliss.

No. I don’t think that’s what we really want. So I’ll keep chasing the fragments of hope, follow them through the glaciers, through forest-fires, and give myself the time to figure it out on my own.