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  • Annie

Sunday; Single parenting.

We’ll start with the final project, this year.

Doing a whole project by oneself in animation is legitimately terrifying, I suppose. It means you have to take care of all aspects of a whole final product yourself, asking advise but ultimately deciding on the fate of a creative result by your own lonesome. There is nothing stopping your own faults from getting in the way of a fantastic result, nothing stopping things going wrong and no one else to shoulder the blame with you if and when they do. Things will always – always – go wrong in a project. There is no stopping that.

I chose to stay safe, for this solo baby. Stay safe and stay insane. 150 A4 pages of drawings, the first of which is located at the top. It’s where I began, with observational drawing (which is code language for “following people for a reasonable amount of time before they begin to get highly suspicious of your motives and thus you must walk quickly in the other direction before they suspect you enough to alert appropriate authorities”), and where I ventured from, onwards, for 150 pages of solid effort.

A simple change of mediums produced a whole new feeling for me. I started drawing with graphites and pencils, as most do, and my favourite pencil in the world is Creatacolor’s Nero pencils, because they are amazingly solid and seriously black as black pencils could possibly get. Brush pens are something that I’ve discovered since the beginning of the year. I’ve not looked back since. Treating them the same way as pencils and Neros weren’t the way to go, and I managed to phase that habit out by 8 pages into the single parent project.

I spent an average of something like 3 hours a day drawing, every day, for a solid 21 days. I’ve not done so much drawing in my life, possibly ever. On the first day I did something like 3 or 4 pages, and by the time it was the last day I was averaging about 6-8 pages a day.

I shaln’t, however, bore you with too much of the drawing details. 

Just understand that I was drawing more than I’d ever drawing in successive days ever in my life, and the result of that was a fantastically dramatic rise in quality of drawing.

The best part was the exhibition.

When I exhibit my work or my work is exhibited, I’m not always there to see it on opening night. When I happen to be present, I always keep a lookout for the types of people to spend more than a glance at looking at my work. Habit remains as such, because on Thursday night I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching who went through my drawings, and which pages they paused upon.

Needless to say, everyone’s attention is caught by completely different things. There were people stopping on pages that I’d spent much less time on, and people who admired the pages I slaved at. The best feeling was always the second half, but knowing that people liked the things that didn’t take three days to perfect also gave my heart a bit of a kick (although that may have been the beers, who knows?)

I’ve not stopped feeling good about the 150 pages of improvement. It’s like watching yourself grow in the mirror at a rate that’s three times as fast as usual.

Some of the individuals I spotted really looked fantastic. I wanted to speak to many of them, but couldn’t think of a conversation starter any better than “I’ve noticed that you have a gorgeous nose. May I draw you naked?“

Of course, I could have said that and gotten away with it. But I’d really rather not make anyone that I wish to draw naked and/or repeatedly too uncomfortable in case it decreased my already minimal chances of doing so.

Some of the faces that I saw regularly became faces that I would give personalities and generate stories for. Sometimes it got to the point where I would rather not talk to them because the person that I’d made them into had gotten much more elaborate than I would expect them to ever be like. I’m not confident with strangers when there’s nothing mutual between us, anyway. Even when there are mutual somethings. I’m just not good with strangers, even when it seems otherwise.

I’ve discovered that colour is really not my thing. Perhaps it will be in the future, but for now I will mainly stick to monochrome schemes and linework, because it seems like the way to go.

For now, anyway. 

Inks and watercolours may be my exception. I’m not sure. I’ve got three months to decide if I’m good enough at it for my other projects to involve those two beautiful, wonderful mediums. Perhaps if I had a lovely set of Chinese inks that I could make myself, everything would be better. 

Who knows, right? I’m not a fan of Indian inks, because they’re not thick enough. When they dry they don’t leave enough of a mark on the page, unless I use bamboo pens. That’s something I’ve got to work around, because Chinese inks around here seem stupidly expensive.

It’s a month before Christmas. I must start making my cards and collecting my gifts for my four most brilliant partners in life, crime, love and the rest. We put up the tree today, the flatmate and I, and her Christmas spirit has grown about five times it’s original overwhelming size since. Everything is copper coloured on the tree, and it makes me dizzily happy that the first proper Christmas Day will be spent with someone who has changed the direction of my life. 

I have no doubt that this summer will be one of the best in my entire life. 

Farewell for now, 




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