Drawing Inspiration

Drawing Inspiration

So I talk a lot about comics, even when people don’t realize I’m talking about comics. I’m doing it right now.

So I thought I’d talk about where creative endeavors intersect. After all, while the skills of writing and drawing are different, much of the creative brain process is similar.

{puts on beret and tweed coat}

{decides that won’t work}

{removes beret and puts on a tam of brilliant pink and purple}

{scowls at anyone who looks like they might not think this matches}

{clears throat and pretends to be an expert on visual arts}

{ignores that Bionic Banshee is just off stage with a billy club}

{realizes his whole deception is done for when he shows the first sketch, but does it anyway}

Speaking of Bionic Banshee…

Bionic BansheeI’ve been sketching some of the crew. It’s a little known secret that in our humdrum ordinary lives, we are not actually the personas we claim to be in the staff page. No, no, I know it’s sad, but I am not actually a monkey. I am a ninja though. Ok, an apprentice ninja. I took a karate class.

30 years ago.

The point is, I had to make up what Bionic Banshee would look like.

Anyway, I started sketching the gnomies and had to come up with how they all looked. This is my first try on Bionic Banshee. It feels like it’s missing something though.

Bionic-Banshee-GuitarThat’s better.

Now, I know this seems like I’m just wandering around, but I have a point, I promise.

I was just doodling when I made the first sketch up there. I had to have hands, and I reckoned one of them was robotic. She is bionic, after all. The hand positions were arbitrary. But as I looked at it, I saw what needed to happen. And voila! Now she can show you the path that rocks.

I added her character. Previously she was simply an unholy hybrid of Gaelic supernatural legend and blasphemous technological enhancement. Now, she’s also a rock star. In your face, Sgt. Pepper! Doodling away gave me ideas that never would have come to mind otherwise.

A similar thing happened to this guy.

samurai-dillo-3I’ve been drawing the Samurai Dillo at least since I was 16, though it’s only recently that I shortened his name from the slightly more awkward but more clear Samurai Armadillo. He’s always had those short legs, because, have you ever seen a ‘dillo? Short legs. Marvelous vertical jump though, relatively speaking. After looking at some pictures one night while sketching with my daughter, I started adding a few features: the textures on his shell, the hair on his legs, the pattern of the shell bands. (The comically over-sized ears have always been there, though.)

The Samurai Dillo was originally created as a nemesis for the Masked Platypus, a character who’s form has changed quite a bit over the years but whose character has been static forever (because it’s funny, and it works for me).

Masked-Platypus-3Anyway, while MP has always been a bit lazy and/or gluttonous, and probably a bit morally flexible, the ‘dillo has been sort of a nothing character.

But then I did a sketch and this bit of dialog came to mind.

Samurai-Dillo-4Now, it’s not just that his arms are short, and his sword is way too big, that’s inherent in his character now. He’s not even capable of reaching it. He’s helpless. And he tries to compensate with comparisons to monstrous creatures. Tough luck, pal. Suddenly he’s more pathetic. But also empathetic.

And that’s my point. If you get stuck while writing, you can change tracks just a little and get more ideas. That can bring you right back and give your story what you didn’t realize it was missing.

So my tendency to draw during work meetings is not a waste of time. At least, not completely.

4 thoughts on “Drawing Inspiration

  1. This is amazing! Bionic Banshee with the guitar looks like she is straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m going to have to try my hand at some drawing. You have inspired me!

  2. This is amazing! Bionic Banshee with the guitar looks like she is straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road. I’m going to have to try my hand at some drawing. You have inspired me!

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