Over the last two semesters, eight-ish months, I’ve been very focused on school work. In my spare time I usually just want to sit and do nothing, and this results in a lot of activity on my Neflix account. I still paint occasionally, but my art interests have been left largely untouched. And this is sad.
Lately, over the last couple three weeks I guess, I’ve had that little feeling that urges “Go on! Create something!”. But, as finals approach and the big, end of semester projects come due, there’s little to no time to heed these little urges.
This is one thing I resent about being in a photography specific program at school. In the eyes of my teachers, I am a (somewhat lame and pathetic) photographer. But to me, that’s not all I am. I’m not just a photographer. In fact, I resent being that anymore. Because I paint too. I draw sometimes, I enjoy sewing by hand. I like to create little creatures with polymer clay, and I love to write, even though my stories aren’t always very good. I love creating art, I love looking at art, and I’d love buying loads of it too, if money grew on trees.
It’s the writing aspect that’s been nagging me lately. I want to write again. It’s gotten me to thinking about past times, stories I’ve written, and characters that still live in my mind. Some of my favorite characters were created in a wolf roleplay guild on Neopets. There were probably ten to fifteen of us active in the guild, and we each had a few wolves that we’d created. Together we wrote and made our wolves interact, created stories, built families, and brought in conflict. My friend and I once killed off two of our main wolf characters and, later, were so depressed at not having them around anymore, found a way to resurrect them and bring them back again.
Another of my favorite characters, from one of my own (unfinished) stories, is Halice (pronounced normally like “Alice” but with an H on the front). Her character was sparked from a photo I saw for sale (which I later bought with Christmas money). She, in a round about way, becomes friends with another girl who needs to remember to imagine, and together they visit a land of their own creation. The place is very real in both their minds, and to all intents and purposes may actually exist. She’s sort of a rebel, but only because she’s had to be.
Often times it will be a song, or a piece of music, or a picture, maybe even someone I see walking down the street or at the mall, that will spark something in my mind. That spark may grow into a scene, or maybe a general plot line for a story, or a character. Not all sparks grow to a proper flame. Sometimes they slip away again, quietly, because they know they’re not really suited to be a story. But some, even if I never finish their story, stay for a long time. Halice is like that. So are my wolves. And Carlos the minstrel. The Darkin, the small dragon who’s name I have forgotten at this moment…they all stay with me, some bolder than others.
It’s this sort of thing I long to return to. A time when writing and painting and real creativity, not just assignments, fluttered around my life more freely. Maybe one day I’ll have more time for them again. But I think One Day is a long ways off.
But it’s good to dream, and to remember, and to hold those favorite characters close.