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  • Annie

Wednesday; Mary and Her Monsters [page01]

We’ll start with Mary.

Once upon a time, during a lecture of a vague Design variety, I drew an image of a faceless doll for Haein, a beautiful darling I know from my studies in Animation. All I knew was that she was to be a doll without a face.

For some reason I fell in love with the illustration, and eventually I resigned her as Mary, the haunted doll, and the singular illustration turned into a series of them. She is currently still lacking a wholesome back story, and so far it’s a little weird. Mary’s one of those characters that walk into my head almost fully formed, with a personality and habits and everything, but she’s not quite human.

Mary was once a girl, but doesn’t remember much about being one. She lost her face when she was cursed to be slowly transformed into a doll in payment for the ability to converse with the dead to find out about her past life, before all the familial deaths. The only thing of her past is her hair. The monsters are a result of the combination of unfortunate external circumstances and internal conflicts.

The Monsters are all visually different, but share a desire for Mary’s hair. They’re not cruel or evil or anything like that, but instead just want to cut her off from her old self, which is the opposite of what Mary herself desires.

Since Mary is not, by all intents and purposes, alive in most of the illustrations (since she’s a doll), sometimes I get the urge to compose one where she’s hung or otherwise killed. I’m not sure why. I had a friend (I do not recall who) suggest that I was Mary. I shall not agree nor disagree with that because I haven’t figured it out yet myself. I don’t know. Looking through these is like trying to psychoanalyse myself, and who knows what that will bring out?

The whole illustration series was to give myself a project to work on, especially during uni where I wasn’t working to my own specifics, but it’s turned into a bit of a masochistic obsession wherein each illustration is getting more attention than the previous one and they’re all turning into something that means a lot more to me than it started out meaning.

Or maybe that’s what every project I do ends up being, I don’t know.

Each and every drawing was done completely with traditional mediums. Brush pens are my babies but they run out ridiculously quickly and I will love whoever figures out how to get me a lifetime’s supply of 0.3 ball point ink pens.

The latest Mary and Her Monsters illustration took me a while to compose and complete. I was trying a variety of new things with the linework (by which I mean I put thought into it at all) and a lot has changed about me and my circumstance since beginning the drawing. The monster is from one of the earlier designs for my monster in my SIAF Project (that ended up with Florence), and it’s one I intend on using for something eventually at some time.

The composition changed several times before I was satisfied with it, and even the inking itself took hours longer than I spent on any of the other five that I’ve done besides this one. I think that’s perhaps the reason why I like it best.

I shall blog about this illustration series again when I finish with beta Mary and set her background story in stone.

For now, I’ll just keep composing and completing illustrations, hopefully.

I’ve made a bottle of paper stars in the past week. It’s very therapeutic. I’m most of my way through the second bottle now, and when I finish this packet of paper strips it will mean that I’ve made five hundred or a thousand or so paper stars in a week or something I don’t know I haven’t been counting. I’ve perfected it. I know the secret to the art of paper star production.

I have also gone through emotional upheaval in the last few days, forgive me for spending a whole week mostly absent from the internet.

But I’m back. And I love you.

Live long and prosperous, Annie.



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