Projects I’ve Had a Few!

A huge thank you for joining me on my first ‘Drawn to Write’ the blog for Chris Guest illustration. So let’s start where all good things begin – the beginning.

I have drawn pictures since I was old enough to hold a pen, and I have written stories from a little while after that (It’s amazing what schooling does!) Art and specifically drawing has been a constant. I’ve drawn when I was bored, I’ve drawn when I was sad, I’ve even drawn when I was angry as I knew that seconds into sketching a picture I would be absorbed, totally. Like a faithful dog, it has never let me down. Sure, I’ve had drawings that didn’t go the way I wanted, but in the process I’ve learned something almost like being given another clue in the greatest treasure hunt ever.

It is the same with writing, it transports me – no longer am I worried about the day’s events as I’m too busy investing in the worlds I have created. They call these activities mindful now, but for me, it’s a bloody good hobby that has been a constant friend. Like a good friend, it has required very little from me other than time- the resources can be cheap which is probably the reason I did it as a child as we didn’t have much money. I spent my childhood making magazines, comic books, board games, toys using Crayola pens way past their best from underneath my grandma’s staircase, which contained pots of pencils and leftover paper and card that for some reason teachers seem to collect.

This leads me to the picture on your left. These are the copious amounts of projects I have on the go so far this year. They all have a common similarity – they’re unfinished.  Look hard enough and you’ll see my novel ‘Owen and the Sky Giants’ drafted and redrafted and re redrafted for good measure, yet still not perfect in my mind. There’s also the storyboarding of Chicken Grit the comic I am currently working on and if you spot some trading cards in the photograph, those are for a wrestling card game that I drew all the artwork for and yet never got it to the point I wanted to share it with an audience.

So why do I tell you this? Well, I’m guessing many of you are the same, even if you didn’t get to create that book, that drawing, that gardening project – even if it was an idea in your head that made you think “That would be cool to do!” yet for some reason you, just like me, didn’t get around to it. Why? What prevented you?  For me, it was a series of excuses that stopped me “People won’t like it.”, “It’s not good enough” or “It still needs work”. These are of course over-generalizations, but without putting these statements in check there’s a danger they become almost real.

That nagging voice in your head can be exactly that, a nag that holds you back. Think about it this way – that voice stopped you from doing what you wanted. When you started out on those projects I’m sure you wanted to make them a success (even if that in itself is a notional idea!) I’m sure you didn’t create it, only for it to be half-finished.

This picture is being completed with the help of my Instagram followers suggesting characters to fill the spaces! Join us over there and put your idea forward – it’ll help me complete it quicker that’s for sure!

There’s one unavoidable fact, we will all be dead one day. It’s quite a sobering thought and not one I would advise many to use when encouraging people to read your posts, but it is true. So if that is the end, then surely we should occupy ourselves with the beginning and middle bits – those are the parts yet to be written, those are the elements which we can shape, change and make fulfilling. Crucially and in equal measure ironic, it is what you do in this time that will live on. Being a great parent, traveling to distant places, building that extension or moving to a new area. Those are the little adventures or projects that people will talk about and for me I want that conversation to include books I have made.

So this blog is part to male the vague concrete, by committing to writing each week you’ll see the progress I’ve made, the pitfalls I’ve encountered, and hopefully navigated. If you have similar irons in the fires and projects on the go I hope you’ll share what you’re doing and we’ll help each other along the way because one things for sure – no unfinished project get’s left behind!



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