In The Beginning …

Posted: April 27, 2016 in Blog
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I started drawing before I began creative writing.  I suppose that is the same with anyone, if they ever much get to creative writing.  I make a distinction, though, between crude children’s drawings and when something sort of clicked in me, and I was trying to make a real effort.  It happened when I was very young, somewhere around ten or eleven years old, and I saw a superhero comic drawn by my friend.  Something about it just hit me, something in the aesthetic, the colors, and the fact that there were multiple panels telling a story.  Yes, I had been exposed to professional comics and super heroes, but something about seeing my similarly-aged friend doing it sort of opened my eyes to the obvious – I could do it, too.

This was still crude, of course, and I had had no formal training or exposure, but I took some spiral notebooks, drew simple lines to divide each page into a landscape field of four relatively equal sections, and I began drawing a story.  I was creative writing with pictures.  And the funny thing is that I didn’t do any talk or thought balloons.  It was all without words as dialogue or narrative; everything was told through the pictures.

I also ripped off movies.  I suppose this is also pretty natural in the development of most creative people – they begin through imitation.  I drew out the complete film Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I also drew a James Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me, I think it was (I’ve always loved that one).  I guess I was story-boarding with no concept of what that was.  It was fun, though I got in trouble for it on at least one occasion when my grade-school teacher got on my case for spending so much time drawing in my spiral notebooks.  My grades were fine, and she knew it, so I am not sure what her problem was.  She ended up giving me poor marks in conduct.

I progressed in both drawing and writing, but I eventually abandoned the drawing side.  I never felt like I was good enough at it.  It came naturally to me, like the creative writing, but where I had a drive to further my writing, you’d never have caught me in an art class.  There’s really no reason I could not have done both, but I feel this has affected my writing style.

I draw with words, and I like that.


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