Departures and Homecomings

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I feel like I’m in a time of simultaneous departures and homecomings. Departing from the Lake District always feels like leaving one home, even as I return to another. The holiday felt like a blast of spring air! We had the most consistently glorious sunshine I’ve experienced in the Lake District for years. It was so hard to capture it in photos, but I’ve begun a painting inspired by the fantastic conditions and some of the people  we met on this holiday and on past walking expeditions. I’ll share that with you once it’s finished!

As it is wont to do, walking shook several things into place in my head. I now know that I want to commit to a career in art. Having been drawing and painting every day since my Easter holidays began, I only want to keep going, and the deeper I delve into understanding the purpose and theory of each piece I’m making, from small conceptual doodle to finished illustration, the more I find the process itself fascinating and the more work I want to do. The career pattern and lifestyle that I see in the blogs and interviews with professional artists very much appeals to me – the idea of moving on regularly and shifting between different projects and roles over the course of a career feels much more attractive than being confined to one career ladder. And the communities of artists that I am gradually becoming more involved in seem so wonderfully generous, exciting and inspiring to talk to that I would love to work in an environment full of such people. Most importantly, coming to this decision feels like another sort of homecoming. I am at home with myself as an artist and at home is how I feel whenever I pick up my pencil and draw.

I have spent the last few weeks considering the downsides of the choice to pursue art, but now I have come to the point where I am ready to put those objections to one side and throw myself into this decision with all my energy. And I am so eager to! Unfortunately, what I also have to do is complete the next year-and-a-bit of my degree course. And my mind, running ahead of itself as ever, is already trying to depart that mental space and begin exploring the next big interesting thing…

So, to time management we come! I go back to university in a few days’ time, and I will need to focus on my dissertation, which is coming up to the deadline, as well as my work for my college magazine and May Ball. However, I also want to commit to a weekly update for A Wren’s Tale, and a separate weekly blog post. What I think will work best is to upload a new comic page every Sunday night/Monday morning, and write a blog post after my weekly essay is handed in. The deadline for my essays changes, so I will let that dictate when each blog post arrives. Because of the chaos of returning to uni, Page 03 of A Wren’s Tale will likely not arrive until next Sunday (19th April), but I will endeavour to keep to that weekly schedule thereafter.

On that note, another thing my holiday gave me space to do was to plan A Wren’s Tale properly. I now have a strong story-arc and structure, as well as a cast of characters whom I have been designing. I want to leave some space within the storyline to treat each page individually, while still having strong narrative and thematic arcs to tie into. I can’t wait to introduce you to all the fascinating characters who’ve been pestering me to draw them since I began the comic! It’s going to be great to see how you respond to some of the themes I’ve had running through my head during the planning stages… Since this is my first comic, I’m really keen to learn from every page I produce. Your feedback has already proved very helpful, so keep it coming! =D

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