Inspiration Recharging Break

Today I made no art. None at all. No drawing, no inking, no painting, no writing, no music. Instead I took a day to “inspire”, in the sense of the word that is akin to inhalation. I inhaled the creative molecules needed for breathing out more art.

My garden has been sorely neglected of late, due to the pressure of The Big Deadline for the graphic novel. I decided to do something about this, because my garden is not only a source of food, it’s also good exercise (which I’ve also been neglecting), and it always relaxes me to be out there working in the dirt; planting things and pulling weeds are good for the soul. It was calming to be out there listening to the bees buzzing, watching their fuzzy little bums sticking out of flowers, soaking in the sunlight (in a t-shirt!), and doing tasks that didn’t involve the tension of putting ink lines in the right place. I always seem to come in from the garden with my head tacked into place a little bit better than when I went out.

Some of a previous year's produce; now isn't that artistic?

Some of a previous year’s produce; now isn’t that artistic? And it gets even better when I take it into the kitchen!

The second thing I did today to recharge my creative batteries was to go to a movie. I went with some friends to see “The Wind Rises”, an animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. The artwork was glorious, and the story, set in pre-WW2 Japan, was presented with wonderful attention to period detailing. There is a scene with an earthquake that is truly alarming, and a love story that, while kind of formulaic, I still found moving. There is a lot of humour on a very human and compassionate level, that mitigates the tragic notes interspersed throughout the film. My companions were critical of the voice acting on the dubbed version we saw; I have to admit I am not too critical about such things as long as I can understand what is being said. It would be interesting to see it in a subtitled version; I always like hearing the original language.

Throughout the film I revelled particularly in Miyazaki’s landscapes and skies, and the attention to detail in the city and interior scenes. I definitely learned some stuff that I want to try in my comics, and would love to see it again so I could pay more attention to the art (first time through a movie, I always am completely absorbed by the story). I’m now motivated to make some time to see more of Miyazaki’s and Studio Ghibli’s films — on DVD so I can stop them and really study the visual art!

Tomorrow I begin the long work of painting the panels I have drawn and inked, and am planning a week-long retreat from… well, pretty much everything. I’ll be in my Art Cave, emerging only to publish progress reports. Tomorrow’s technique-of-the-week will be me painting comic panels!


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