Blame It On Star Wars
I mean really, that’s where my fascination with following compelling characters and my love for design all started for me as fan. And make no mistake. I only create because I was first, a fan.
While it’s true that Star Wars involves alien planets and futuristic gadgetry while my current work is set on present day Earth, and there’s not a single alien in sight or even alluded to, my notions of even being an author, fine artist and musician started as a seven year old who was absolutely captivated by the ships, the lore and most importantly, the characters who I followed not just to the Death Star, but to Hoth and a variety of other places only referenced in the books.
It was simply irresistible.
Most importantly, it embedded in me a desire to create. It wasn’t enough to just go where other’s imagination took me.
I wanted to contribute.
In the 9th grade, I began working on my first novel. It was a complete passion project trying use what I learned from all of the movies and reading the Dune books. With all of the technology that these books turned me on to, I also started designing costumes, weapons, spacecraft and aliens to color in the lore I was creating for the book that was to be called The Anthro Legion.
The guy above was first named Vince Anthro and was the leader of The Anthro Legion, but as the plot became more sophisticated, I changed his name to Andros Koresh. He looks nothing like the dude you read about in The Gospel of Wolves, Episode One, but like various other names from The Anthro Legion, I re-purposed them for the updated characters in the new storyworld I was creating.
The space craft below was called the Slywing and it’s what you would have found Andros flying around the galaxy in if I hadn’t tanked the entire book idea and turned my attention to music in the 10th grade. Part of the reason I moved away from the novel was because I knew I wasn’t ready yet and I needed something to hold on to as my escape plan out of an abusive household.
Once I had picked up the guitar, I proved to be a better songwriter and musician than I was a writer at the time.
Naturally, pursuing music brought its own challenges and I use my experiences to color in some of the characters, including Andros who’s a musician and disgruntled worker in an ad agency.
Another re-purposed element from The Anthro Legion is the outline shape of the Slywing spacecraft which became the insignia for the imprint I release all of my creative works through, Artistic Agenda, as seen below.
The name of the craft, Slywing now belongs to DJ Slywing.
Frankly, I thought all of these designs were permanently lost by being tossed in the trash from one move to an new dwelling or another. Happily, I just found these drawings in the past week in a manila envelope while doing a deep clean of my recording studio and thought I’d share this stuff with you since, this was the beginning of all that I’m creating now. And while I accept this is certainly no Star Wars, its nothing less than the best I’ve got to give because I create as a fan.
In my heart of hearts, it isn’t enough to just create. I want to contribute.
That said, work on my next book has taking longer than expected due to what I’ll call quality control. There was a problem in the story of By Fang or Feather, and I enlisted some help to fix it so that I don’t have to cringe when I release it and you aren’t stuck with a sub-par story.
This is one of the best parts of being indie. I don’t have a publisher telling me that the book is going out when I know it shouldn’t.
In any case, the problem was fixed thanks to some pointed questions from an expert storyteller and the advice that followed on what I needed to work out to tell a story that only I could tell.
I’m about 20,000 words in with quite a bit to go, but this is feeling like a story I can be excited about again.
Like The Anthro Legion, my books, my art and my music are still passion projects. Hell, they’re my very breath. I can’t hold them in and live very long.
While struggling with getting my book on track, as a fan, I’ve been enjoying The Defenders, The Game of Thrones and have been reading detective novels like Snowman which I’m happy to hear is being made into a movie soon.
In all these, I enjoy the payoff of investing in characters who are complex and evolve over time.
I’m sure there’s some psychological term for what I get out of them since the notion of evolving is an important one to me. I had to evolve from the person whose daily life was once a matter of survival to someone who can afford the luxury of creating and releasing the things I create without a gatekeeper anointing me as worthy.
To this day, I trust of most gatekeepers is suspect. But I’m not going to go on an independent movie rant right now.
I’ll just ask…How about you? What have you been occupying yourself with lately?
Comment below and let me know.