Yesterday I had a pleasent surprise, a visit from an old friend. He was one of our former Home Teachers, but he and his family moved away in 2006 (I think) for military. Sometimes when he is back in the neighborhood, he will stop by and visit. I really don’t know if I have met his equal for cheerfulness and good humor. You can’t help but laugh when he’s around. And instant friend, and always good for a chuckle. And so open too! He was just visiting us for maybe twenty minutes, but he was showing us pictures of his famiy and sharing stories, it was wonderful to see him again.
Some people wow the world with their achievements and accomplishments, this guy make the world better just by being who he is, a happy, funny person who can just put you at ease.
When I was at BYU-I, one of the girls in my apartment complex had a similar way of making the world a better place. I remember when we first met her, my sister and I were walking back from our last classes of the day. And this girl met us on the way back to the apartment. She recognised us from church, and she began conversing with us. As we got closer to home, she asked if we liked homemade bread. Do I like homemade bread? Who doesn’t? So she invited us to her apartment and fed my sister and I homemade bread. And from that day on, she would often invite us to her apartment for food. Which is, by the way, the quickest way to my heart.
I have been incredibly blessed to have many other good people in my life. Family, of course. I love the fact that my older brother still acts as my counciler, even though he’s hundreds of miles away and I only hear from him once a week. And I’ve had great roommates. One of them baked a lot- which naturally endeared her to me. But she was also very helpful to me and my sister. She’s graduated now and I wish her the best in life. I think she’ll do amazing things. Some others… well, some it looks like I’ll be able to room again with 🙂
Now, my next image. The challenge was to do a guy. This isn’t really all that hard, I do draw guys you know. But it is hard to come up with something for them to do that would fill up enough of a page to make a good calandar image. Especially since it has to be different than things I’ve done before. But I did come up with something. I even harken back to the old days, when I used to draw dragons a lot. Basically, Drako (the name of the guy I ended up drawing) has a ‘shoulder dragon.’ Back when I was younger, I envisioned a domestic dragon that would hang out on your shoulder, like a parrot might, and that his diet consisted of meantballs- unlike full-sized dragons, who ate pancakes. So that’s what Drako has perched on his arm in this next image. The background has a stone wall in it. I couldn’t help it. I wasn’t sure what to do and… well… I liked the stone wall that I did in the last image, and it didn’t get a lot of response. But instead of taking up the whole background, it’s just a small wall in the back. Something an adult could probably climb over. The rest is hills and a few trees. I’m hoping to create a sort of misty effect as you go further back.
Actually, I was having difficulty with the background. Besides not being something particularly spectacular, I couldn’t find a way to link Drako to the background. See, while Lori was thinking about how all of my calandar images had girls, I was thinking “I wonder if the backgrounds feel to disconnected from the featured female, I don’t want them to look like an afterthought, even though sometimes that is the case.” And as for Drako, or any of my guy characters, he didn’t… shall we say… come with a background in mind. So I had to create one. And then, just before I started coloring, it seemed like I was missing something. It’s hard to explain these nudges. But I thought, ‘What I need is Kimodo in the background.’
Let me explain, I have made up these characters before. There are three siblings, Wyvren, Drako, and Kimodo (yes, I know, theme naming, deal with it). Before you ask, no- I have not written a story with them. All I’ve used them for is a comic that I wrote, purely to entertain myself- so it doesn’t make sense. But the advantage of writing a comic is that it helps you in your art. It helped me learn to draw people in certain positions, and to get better at hands in particular.
Anyway, I was thinking about Kimodo, because I was trying to think more of the story of the image. This has been one of the comments about my art in general that I hope to stay true to, and that is that my images have a story to them. And I didn’t think “This image was to prove to my sister that I can do guys in my artwork” made a good story. But there he is, with his dragon, and a wall and hills in the distance. So what’s he doing out there? Well, maybe him and his dragon are thinking about going outside the wall and into the unknown. And then Kimodo came to mind.
In the comic, the oldest brother- Wyvwren, is the Evil Overlord and Kimodo is going to succeed him. She’s only ten, but she’s preparing to be a world class Evil Overlord. Drako is either ‘assigned’ by Overlord Wyvren to chaparone Kimodo as she goes on her escapades, or Kimodo drags Drako along with her. Drako just goes with it. He likes being out and about and watching over Kimodo, even if he isn’t into the whole ‘world domination’ gig. In the image, she his already behind the stone wall, and is calling to him.