So my mum surprised me with this weird time capsule parcel yesterday. It contained long-forgotten photos, love letters, birthday cards, scribbles and other detritus. It also contained a handful of drawings from my teenage years. Sur-fucking-real!
These are extremely crude (let’s just say I’ve improved since), but I still wanted to share them. Apologies for the image quality. Each page was marred by a big fat crease down the middle and it’s apparent I had a penchant for featherweight pencil strokes, which don’t show up well in photographs.
Ryu from Street Fighter.
My sweet little Jack Russell, Zac. RIP, buddy.
Ben Gibbard, frontman of Death Cab for Cutie.
Tidus from Final Fantasy X.
A damn-near-invisible tree. I used to really like drawing these. Very Australian vibe here.
This is a drawing of Lara, a German exchange student and the object of my [intense] affection. Nowadays it’s apparent to me that drawing your crush is the pastime of would-be serial killers, but back then I thought it was a completely reasonable thing to do. Fortunately she never saw it.
Close-up of mein liebling, Lara. Bleh. Has kind of an uncanny valley thing going on here. Dislike.
Counter-Terrorist from Counter Strike. This one’s my favourite.
I’ve alluded to this a few times already, but one of my assessments this year entails producing a magazine of my choice. I’ve chosen to draw upon my love of horror with a digital horror/literary/pop culture mag. I’m presently laying out my content and sourcing the images. I’d already decided that internet phenomenon Slender Man shall adorn the cover, but have recently been considering sketching the cover image myself.
Sketching is one of my ancillary interests. I drew a lot growing up, but my commitment has waned since entering adulthood. To get back into the spirit for this assessment, I decided to look through some of my old sketches (by old I mean those I’ve done since moving to Melbourne. The real old ones are back home in Queensland). Sharing them seemed the next logical step. These are all from 2012 (the last year I made any serious time for this hobby).
‘Phuket, Poolside’ – published INfusion 45
‘E.M.’ – published INfusion 47.
These next four came from a life drawing class I attended at Northcote Town Hall courtesy of my girlfriend. (Best present ever.) The class was notable for being the first time I’d used charcoal and an easel; the first time I’d drawn a live model (let alone a nude one); and the first time I’d drawn in public, or had my work scrutinised. These all came from timed exercises. We were encouraged to focus on the model and not the page, which is basically the opposite of my usual methods. The instructors told us to make bold, defined lines first time around – another first for me. Ordinarily, I like to retrace a line several times until it’s to my satisfaction. I think the instructors were hoping to shake our perfectionism – definitely a lesson I could stand to learn! It was fun tackling the same subject from various angles. If you’re at all curious about life drawing, give it a go. I had a blast and look forward to someday having another go.
I forget how long we were given (possibly something like thirty seconds), but obviously this was the shortest timed exercise.
Another one. For this one, we had a little longer.
Alex Garland’s claim to fame is The Beach, a Thailand-inspired cautionary tale. While The Beach is a layered ensemble novel, The Coma strives for the opposite. The biggest drawcard here is the concept: a man’s perception of reality is warped following his emergence from a coma.
Look, I won’t beat around the bush. Although I consider this a short, worthwhile read, this book carried an unshakeable feeling of insubstantiality. Its narrative is a thin mechanisation, an exercise in cleverness. There’s no sense that Garland wants to immerse or entertain the reader. This is not a fully realised novel, but a vehicle for the author to explore his interest in the subconscious mind. Continue reading →