I have been reflecting on a lot of things recently and I guess I just feel like I need to say something on this dusty little account of mine.
A lot has happened to me during these past two years- to put it bluntly I've been in the throws of depression and back (and I still question whether I'm still in it or not, to be honest I think it's that one little doubt that will keep it with me forever)it all sprung up from crises of family life, school life, a dwindling social life, and my increasing self doubt- and typically it happened all at once, such is life.
(I ramble here but it does contribute to my overall post)
The other week I brought down my x-box and played the orginal sonic games, and then the other day, my sisters boyfriend played Sonic Unleashed and I watched, it all brought back fond memories of course, and it triggered my interest in Sonic again- so I looked at new fanart and read up on the newest games and all that (I even read the sonic wiki thing).
I am actually really sad about how much Sonic has changed over the years; I watched Sonic Unleashed (which I always thought was an utterly terrible idea- werehog!?!) and I didn't recognise the planet Sonic was on at all, I kept asking where they were and why they and the chaos emeralds were there but the conclusion was that that human filled, Earth looking planet was Mobius - no information said otherwise, infact I think they scrapped Mobius altogether because all of the recent games have just said 'Earth'.
And all of these new plots are so complicated and corny! I never imagined Sonic as this ultra serious hero, I just imagined him as a speedy hedgehog who got his kicks from exploring (the real) Mobius and Dr Robotnick was just some chump that happened to supply some added fun.
But on the other hand I love the way the art has developed- I have never liked black eyes, not on anything- and I like the leaner shapes, but I do agree that sonic is becoming more and more human-like, and this along with the now human filled 'Mobius' where Sonic and the gang are the only animals in sight, is making the whole 'Sonic THE HEDGEHOG' theme useless; in the new 'Sonic The Hedgehog (next gen)' game they even had a one sided romance between Sonic and a human princess!
And, I think it's just my love for character design, but I love all of the new animal characters, it always thrills me to see a world expanding, I hate the stories around the characters, but I love their designs.
I won't even go into the comics, that was just plain scary- I think the only good thing to come from those are some interesting characters, I hate Sally as much as the next person but again, I do love her design.
My dream scenario would be for sonic and his newer design to go back to the glory days where he was just having fun running around Mobius.
And yeah, I went back and watched some Sonic X, it was dubbed by 4Kids so I knew it would be shit purely because of that fact, but I gotta say, the makers really got it right in (only) the first 3 eps of the show- Sonic was Sonic and everything he did he did it for fun or to help out a friend; and I may be the only one, but I really like Sonic's VA, even watching Sonic Unleashed I thought he made a great Sonic. I haven't watched past episode 5 as it already went downhill, the music made my ears bleed (4Kids changed the music!Sooo much brass!), and Chris Fucking Thorndyke- If ever there were a child to be murdered...
But I remember sitting on the sofa in the summer holidays before I went to High School (I was 11), and seeing the CiTV advert for this brand new show 'Sonic X' and thinking to myself 'wow, I want to draw that' and from then on I was holed up in my room everyday drawing Sonic the hedgehog over and over. And soon after that I started creating my own characters; and this account was created some time after that.
It's been over 4 (I think) years since I've drawn anything Sonic related, or even thought about anything Sonic related; so when I dug up the old drawings of my characters I was practically seeing it all with fresh eyes. Even though I get embarrassed if anyone ever recalls my old Sonic drawings or when I remember plastering it on my school work where the teachers that I know and respect would have seen it, seeing them now I was in awe of my Sonic drawings, I seriously was. It made me realise how damn fearless I was! I didn't care about what other people thought of the work, and I wasn't constantly sizing it up to other artists work, and I didn't care if it was 'right'. I wanted to draw my characters, so I did; I drew them doing all kinds of things, playing music, running, posing, interacting with each other! And I was developing so well too! I have practically every picture I ever did and to see the development was so overwhelming; from just a stick like female Sonic standing there with her hands behind her back all the time to having her looking (a little more) original and doing whatever the hell I thought of.
My next thing was anime, I was introduced to it when I met my best friend and it opened up my world a lot further. I was doing that alongside Sonic and my new (but small)knowledge of anatomy came into my sonic figures, soon Sonic was replaced with my own manga with a new set of characters and my skills developed further- and again I did figures and everything. I never used references; I did what came to mind and I crafted the figures as what I thought was 'right'.
Now I compare that to today, where I am so afraid to make a mistake that I almost can't bring myself to draw at all, I want to blame the depression for making me so paranoid and for draining so much of my confidence and I want to blame the fact that I am under so much pressure (which I am putting on myself, I know) because I'm an 'artist' now and there are so many, much more talented, people out there wanting the same things as I do and I no longer have the excuse of youth; but, although those things have played major parts, the reason for my extreme self-doubt is the high expectations I have of myself, and the expecations I make myself believe that the people around me have, they've basically crippled me. I keep hoping that once I've removed myself from the people I'm currently with (I'm going to uni next year) I'll be able to build my confidence with new people around me who don't know my work and I won't have the reputation as 'the best artist' to be hanging over me and making me burden myself with producing 'better work' than before.
I can honestly say that the thought of doing a figure right now scares the life out of me- the funny thing is, I can do life drawing just fine, I produce some good work from it too, and doing cards for my friend I can do, so I know I can do it, I just can't believe in myself enough to do it.
I've been trying to 'better' myself by studying anatomy and doing fanart of styles/ characters I like, which is what built my skills in the first place, I'm trying to move on from anime/manga style and develop my own individual, more western style, not because I am English and manga is frowned upon in our art institutions, but because I don't feel satisfied with it anymore.
My manga project has become an entirely new beast; it's grown so much and has developed so well that it is of novel proportions, writing is a comfortable art form for me, especially now. But still, I want to SEE it. I want to look at a drawing I've done and say 'Yep, that's (whatshisname), I've finally found him!'.
As I went back and read the stories I posted on my Sonic characters I had a hell of a laugh. I recently read a book on character creation and it said that the first thing we do when thinking of a character or story is reach for the cliche shelf. And my Sonic gang is full of cliche's! Sky herself is a huge one, when I first created her (11yrs old remember) I thought I was being so original having her be a clone of Sonic and Shadow combined, now I'm older I can see how common the idea is. At least I can promise I am a much better writer than I was back then!
I kept thinking about going back to my sonic roots, I'm absolutely dying to change the character stories etc and I've already thought of what I would do. I tried drawing Leo the other day, I drew his head- and damn was it hard! I have a new appreciation for myself and other Sonic artists, it is actually really hard to draw a decent sonic face.
I do love my characters still, but I guess I know that I only want to go back (other than ridding them of their cliches) in the hope that it will hold some key to my confidence.
The better part of me says I should leave them alone, I should let them be who they are- as a part of my childhood, completely untouched by any of my neuroses. That's probably why I can't bring myself to delete this account even though it's been dormant for years, just so I can look back on it all.
The way I see things at this moment in time: Sonic is my innocence and my past, I'm in a dark place right now, not knowing what to do about my problems or my career, my current project though- no matter what form it takes, that I see as my future.
If anyone's actually read all that I'll give them a medal, it's all just something that's been on my mind for a while and I have nowhere to put it but here.