19 September 2022

Some progress

Argentum Camera. Aa Filter

It’s been a bit quiet here the past for weeks, something to do with being busy punching out client websites (which tends to pay the bills!). That’s not to say I have not been filling the gaps with project work, I have indeed…

Ian McQue popped this post out recently…


Anybody else look through their sketchbooks and realise they draw the same stuff all the time?


Looking back at it, it’s actually quite poignant…

After having moved house a few times over the past two years, I’ve cleaned out my file drawers, culling back to only, *ahem*, the best of the doodles, sketches, scribbling and ideas I had accumulated over the past years. Interestingly, as Ian rightly pointed out, one does tend to circle on the same idea, subconsciously or otherwise. What I find most interesting about this is that while I have visually circled on the same concepts for many years, writing wise I deviated quite a bit. I can’t really explain why, but the visual ideas never really aligned with the written ones and while I have spoken about getting the ducks in a row previously, I never managed to put this disconnect together until I started going through the sketchbooks.

Calum Velum

This doodle here is a good example… I have messed around with ideas like this for a good long while now but they simply do not fit into the narratives I have been writing – they’re not MAG-100, The Silent nor Sub Orbital Machine 9. Until now.

There’ve been little, almost subconscious, crumbs between the wordage and the scribbles over time but they have been divergent processes; which could explain the maddening endless circles I’ve spoken about. So sitting down with the words and sketches in front of me, it became suddenly obvious that to fold the various ideas and concepts into one another would be a simple affair, everything was (surprisingly) already structured, I just needed to make the missing connections. What’s more, as I did it the narrative evolved to become much closer to the concept of science fiction that I enjoy – crazy, big picture and challenging.

The same connection process can be said with the art itself…

I have been chasing all these different style and methods as I vainly tried to align what I was doing – there was colour 3D, black and white, sketches, scribbles, and on it went as I bounced from one thing to the next.

The big 3D illustrations I could do (in my own somewhat retro style)…

Tour Of A Universe: A homage

but they didn’t fit with the ideas of what MAG-100 was becoming in my mind (see the previous post about the game aspect). The idea of pages of sketch-work with highlighted details (3D or drawn) seemed closer to the mark but lacked aspects of story telling that I liked. Circling back into the past work, what found I really enjoyed was the paneled style of drawing, like a mix between comic and story boarding, which allows breakaways for things of interest. It also suits my style of drawing and black & white as a medium, which I always had a strong preference for.

But most interestingly, this style of working is something I keep coming back to in one form or another, as I like to tell narratives in the things I draw – my doodles tend to be little visual narratives of objects or scenes rather than single point ideas.

So maybe there’s a reason we all circle on the same ideas….


Copyright 2022 Gerard Thomas. All rights reserved.

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