[image title=”Another little character, again with a little tinge of sadness.” size=”large” id=”870″ align=”center” alt=”Another little character, again with a little tinge of sadness.” linkto=”viewer” ]

I am surprised, sometimes, by the way my little drawings turn out. It isn’t a matter of skill or mastery – if I do a ‘bad’ drawing, I do a bad drawing… it is nothing huge. You toss away the piece of paper and you start over. That isn’t what surprises me. What does surprise me is that I don’t always seem to have the ability to pick the way they are going to turn out. I can have one thing in mind, but once pen touches paper… it doesn’t seem as if it is always up to me. Is that odd?

Take Angela here for example. She was meant to be happy. She was going to be happy. But she’s not. I’ve drawn another character with a tinge of sadness, though it wasn’t my original intention.

It irks me sometimes that I don’t seem to have full control over my pen some days. Don’t get me wrong: I know how to draw a happy face, I know how to draw a sad face, I can force things into being one way or another… but I find that it is always better not to force it. As much as a writer or a film-maker must tend to think of their characters as alive, as living, breathing, full creations and people in their own right, so too do I tend to do so. Although most only have one little moment in which to shine, I still can’t let them be other than who they are. To force a full, beaming smile would be wrong for Angela right now: it is just not who she is. Does that make sense?

It is annoying, in a way… if I want to draw a happy, beaming girl plucked from the recesses of my imagination, it isn’t always the best sensation to find out that the beaming happiness is just a front… and that the true self is not quite so joyous. When Angela first popped into my head, she was younger, trick-or-treating with her much older sister and her own little twin. They actually had rather an interesting contraption they would sit on to move from house to house. They even entered a new-age style of store and talked to the woman behind the counter.

The entire time, Angela was beaming and happy, though perhaps a little fickle as young children are. Her costume was an identical match to her identical twin’s, though the colours were inverted: a long shift dress, with a long vest-style overcoat, one piece in light brown, the other in dark. A witch’s hat matched, and she carried a hand-made straw broom, tied with twine where the bristles met the handle, to keep them all secure. She and her twin had so much fun creating them: they created their whole outfits from scratch, with help. They weren’t masterful, but they were incredible and perfect in the eyes of the children, and to most of the others who saw them. There were children who would tease, because the girls couldn’t afford the elaborate bought costumes they had… but the girls weren’t upset for the most part. They had each other and even if their family couldn’t even afford proper shoes to go with their costumes, you can bet that they had more fun in them than even the most expensively attired child would have.

Anyhow… all that aside (and I could go on for hours – it was a rather detailed dream), when I decided to draw her afterwards, she wasn’t the same smiling, bubbly young girl she was in that vision. Time had changed her and taken away something she might never be able to regain. Perhaps I will get an actual story out of her one day, but for now, I don’t think that she wants me to pry.