I’d be quite happy to draw dragons and wizards and monsters every week. I grew up with drawing fantasy creatures and fantasy worlds and I’ve enjoyed twisting and turning these images over in my head and trying to come up with ways of seeing that I hadn’t thought of before. Fantasy gives a complete freedom to draw whatever you want to. But when it is a brief, when you are drawing dragons and wizards for a client, there are expectations that come with visualising other peoples’ fantasies. My own ideas about what a dragon or a wizard might look like might be very different to someone else’s and you can find yourself reaching for common ground. Suddenly a fantasy world can seem like a restrictive one. But it becomes a more rewarding one too, because adventuring into someone else’s imagination can unearth fresh ideas in your own.
I’ve been watching Adventure Time on Youtube a lot in the last week or so. It’s a great cartoon and each ten minute episode is crammed full of strange magical creatures and bizarre imagination. It seems so wild and spontaneous and free from trying to pander to expectations. I started watching it a couple of years ago, but then all the episodes seemed to disappear from the Internet. Some of the episodes I’ve watched in the last few days have been taken down already; they never seem to be up for long. Like all the best fantasy worlds it is temporary, and I am enjoying the freedom of it while it’s there.
Moving to the south coast from the Midlands had felt like stepping into a fantasy world. For the first time I was looking to become dependent on drawing pictures for a living and it felt unreal. It felt vulnerable, temporary, something to enjoy while it’s there. But I have drawn and slain some dragons since then and through realising other peoples’ fantasies my fantasy world is becoming a real one, one that can last.
Below are some various dragon drawings from last year and more recent colour images from The Green Emerald in the Book of Dreams by John Santana http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Green-Emerald-Book-Dreams/dp/1780034180