Thursday, August 14, 2014

Everything Is Going MY WAY on Illustration Friday!

     Yay! Once again it is Illustration Friday and I am Excited!
This week's topic was KING. This brought to mind thoughts of European History Freshman year in High School.  I learned about SO many Royal Families that I would not even be able to tell you have of it today.  Though I'm certain many of them were named George, Mary or Louis (which makes me excited.)
I also thought about certain types of world leadership that year. Like what makes a Great King was either his ability to expand the Empire,  or (and more importantly) his ability to improve the life of the peoples of his Nation, and not just the lives of the wealthy, but all peoples.

     As an American, I admit that I have a certain fascination when it comes to the study of a monarchy.  This fascination I am certain comes from the fact
that our government was founded in the opposition of one. We have never, and more than likely will never be a monarchy here in the USA. Unless, of course, the USA Government, economy and all social systems crash and burn, leaving our nation vulnerable to invasion and that foreign power sets up a monarchy...

     More than likely it will probably never happen.

     Now from my perspective as a Children's Illustrator, playing with the figures of the monarchy is much more Romanticized in Nature.  When you are a child, you begin to imagine what the world would be like if you were a King or a Queen or a Princess or a Prince, probably from the very moment we all learn about what they are. 
And more often than not, it tends to lean towards a very selfish vision of our young world full of quite very amusing but still selfish purposes.  We all think,"If I were the Ruler of the World, I would do WHATEVER I WANT TO DO, WHENEVER I WANT TO DO IT!"  And we think how wonderful that would be to exist in that world all day, everyday.  I even remember once telling my mother, scorned after she had scolded me for eating powdered coffee creamer from the carton with a spoon as if it were a bowl of ice cream,"When I am All Grown Up, ALL My kitchen Cabinets will be filled with Coffee Creamer and I will Eat nothing else bu Coffee Creamer for Breakfast, Lunch and Diner EVERYDAY for the rest of My Life!"  Even though this memory has more to do with my future visions of adult grandeur and not really a fantasy of ruling the world, the sentiment is similar: "When I am in charge of Everything in my world, I Will Get What I Want All the Time and Everyone Will Love Me for it."
 I remember my mother laughing at the statement, which I asserted very loudly to the rest of the family, informing them all. I will admit that I do have creamer in my coffee every morning, but it's that wonderful magical liquid flavor kind.  Also my kitchen pantries are far more diverse than my 6-year old vision of them were. lol.  This version of the World we control was, when made reality, what made bad Rulers so awful and tyrannical.  Being young and innocent, we would never think of the possible harm getting our way all the time might affect other around us. 

     ...Which brings me back to King My Way (as I call this character). After thinking back through some of the a fore mentioned memories, King My Way popped up out of the cold black dark cob-webbed infested recesses of my mind.
 Lately I like to playfully imagine those compartmentalized areas of my Brain as Gringotts Bank form Harry Potter and random bits of images and knowledge and whatnot ride around on those really awesome rail carts from the depths below... ANYWAY, This drawing, which I haven't given much thought past the year I drew him in, resurfaced.

     I just sketched him on a day that I was idly doodling back in 2002 (yes the original sketch is a relic) when I doodled him out of my head.  He was only EVER just a doodled character on a scrap sheet of paper, but I kept him all these years because I though he was cute.  I was originally going to develop the character into a children's book that dealt with the topic of Selfishness and how it can affect or hurt others and in some cases even ourselves. The title I had intended for that book was In A World Where Everything Is MY WAY! I still may develop that story, but I had abandoned it back then due to not being able t pull a dynamic story from the concept. Also other more interesting projects came along so I shelved King My Way and his tale for some future date. I decided it was High time for me to finish a colored version. First I had to locate the drawing, which if anyone has ever been to my studio, you know that would be a challenge.
They could make a Nickelodeon Obstacle Course Show out of looking for things in my studio.  I have 4 very short but quite long and narrow plastic bins in which I store drawings water color illustration work, portfolios, old portfolios, things that don't belong in there, etc... you get the picture.  I had to go bin by bin and sort through drawing stacked over drawing stacked over drawing, until at last, I found the King My Way sketches. I had doodled what his throne might look like as well as a very meager layout for a book cover (as all I had at the time was a title I liked). They weren't as interesting (but I will share them with you all regardless of how terrible I think the drawings are.)  I inked the sketch, making only very few modifications like taking out the shoe as it looked odd and didn't really read as his shoe and covered that with just a very long night shirt. I like the idea that his Regal Robe could be his dad's house coat and this young boy using it as his stately uniform. lol.

     The process for color was the usual, digital collaging. I have included a few screen shots of the Work in Progress below as well.

     King My Way has always had a tender spot in my heart because I believe he represents that long ago little child inside all of us that secretly makes us want to rule the world.  Now that I am older I have realized that a better vision for my world has to include more than just cabinets full of powdered coffee creamer and just getting my way all the time.  I've thought often this week, as I was working on this project, of some very wise words by Mick Jagger and the rest of His Rolling Stones Buddies,"You can't always get want you want. But if you try sometimes, you might get what you need."  And getting just what you need, I have found, has made me a far happier little artist man in his lifetime.  The little Kings and Queens of My Way that reside in the small very distant Grigotts Vaults of our minds and in our histories, I'm certain, can appreciate Mr. Jagger's lovely sentiment.

     I hope all of you out there enjoy the illustration, and enjoy the rest of your Friday and your weekend.  I also challenge all of you to do something. For just this weekend find or do something you absolutely want to do for just yourself and also do something or get something that you really need for yourselves this weekend. That might be a fun task to put into practice.  I definitely know it's an activity all my Libra friends will enjoy. ;0)

until next time, friends,
Keep sketching, keep thinking, keep laughing and most important of all, keep making art.