They say there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Bit morbid if you ask me but I understand that there are many ways to do things. My creative side simply wanted to start drawing characters and robots and dragons and all the stuff that’s fun to draw – and then somehow work them into a story when I work out how to do so – but some other internal instinct advised otherwise.
It must have been some efficiency instinct or something – who knows. Either way I decided that it would be far more complicating to wrap a story around characters than to write a story and create characters and elements needed to make the story work.
So I decided to focus on my creative side and find out how I could inspire myself into finding a story. This required a short period of pondering and self discovery. I went looking through my vast archives of old drawings and started looking into what made me what to produce such artworks.
I came to the conclusion that i’m most creative when I find myself in a dark place. It’s as if it just builds up into some kind of force and when I can’t hold it in anymore it all spills out, usually in the form of images. I decided to use this as a tool rather than some venting mechanism.
So at the time of coming up with the concept work was stable, finances were ok, life was manageable albeit complicating which i’m sure is no different to most, I had a girlfriend, a dog and a few fish. Mostly great i’d say, however, there was something that was out of sorts. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time but I’ve come to understand that it may have been fuelled by a sudden change in lifestyle. I was settling down and you could say growing up. I was lacking in the weekly adrenalin hit of participating in extreme sports, and using my body far less as I wasn’t walking, biking or even driving/cycling to work. The only real fix I was receiving was from the daily problems that I needed to solve with maintaining my relationship and work.
Challenging as they might have been it wasn’t enough to compensate for this inner adrenaline deficiency, so something was building up. It wasn’t making me unhappy at all but it was clearly creating some sort of hole in my soul. So focussing on using this as a tool, I started to fill this hole. Not with the adventures or dramas or experiences of a previous life but with youtube. Lots of youtube. I wasn’t watching films or funny videos of dogs eating lemons. I was looking into science, history, aliens, religion and conspiracy theories – mainly targeted at the unknown. Oddly, cramming up my mind with a vast cocktail of the weird and wonderful filled the void quite nicely – so the tactic was working.
Then one evening my girlfriend Dee and I watched some film on netflix about propaganda and communism and afterwards we began to chat about it. Dee is from Romania and she explained about how communism was effectively achieved in the olden days and how simple it was to hold a nation in containment through effective propaganda, secrecy and restriction. She helped pack my void further by detailing events from her parents past and that’s when it happened.
I guess i’d managed to pack my void up so tightly that there was no space left. Instead of exploding outwards into a fit of artwork as might have been expected, it felt like it had just shifted within me. Re-positioned itself to fill in all the little air pockets that may have existed therein. It organised itself and felt like it just clicked.
Everything that had been crammed into my mind over that period of time just suddenly made perfect sense. I simply started with a ‘What if…’ and then our conversation extended into epic flow again. This conversation wasn’t one that was pulling information inwards though. It was an exhalation – I was verbalising the concept of this new story.
So with a ‘hold that thought’, I ran to grab my computer and wrote it down. In almost no time at all I had the base of a story that was vague but solid. It felt as good as a great drawing. It felt like an accomplishment. The concept was born.