I’ll start by thanking everyone who’s kept watching me this year. I haven’t been as productive for reasons I’ll get to later but the motivation’s coming back. I owe special thanks to everyone who’s asked questions and offered advice. I’ve been online more often and my work should benefit from some of the conversations I’ve had. For anyone who’s come in late or finds it all a bit confusing, different galleries usually depict different universes. There’s a bit of crossover – the Warbirds series alludes to past events in the Scorched Earth world, but I should make a clear distinction between my more serious (Occult Creatures, Necromechanics, and Scorched Earth) and lighthearted work (The Madness, In Extremis, Lost and Forsaken, and Surreal could conceivably be merged). The new Top Shelf gallery combines some of my most popular work with some of my personal favourites.
I’ll admit I’ve had some trouble adjusting to suburban Sydney. Melbourne’s labyrinthine alleyways and industrialised waterfronts, Hobart’s surrounding forests and mountains, and the long roads between major cities appeal more to my sense of adventure. I like to get out and explore every day and Sydney’s climate makes this harder – I actually prefer the colder, wetter southern winters. The suburbs provide a tolerable mix of private and government housing, bushland and light industrial zones, and if I wander far enough, the drive thrus and shopping malls we’ve copied from the USA. I’ve given up my night walks as they’d mean less time with my one true love – I wouldn’t stay here for anyone less.
I feel my recent work’s lacked focus. Darker takes on teletubbies, etc. are lots of fun but I think I should concentrate on more original creations. I know some people appreciate the (often bitter) social commentary attached to pictures like “Shell of a Hedgehog” but for every one who does there’s someone else who doesn’t get it and takes it all too literally. Verbal sparring’s also fun, but telling fanboys to calm down when I could be drawing soon gets old. I could draw Preston’s bear all day as it’s a borderline Lovecraftian nightmare, but it isn’t my creation either and even my cold little heart isn’t immune to the odd twinge of conscience.
I think there’s a lot of potential in my Scorched Earth character concepts. They draw on many different interests (history, culture, politics, dystopian fiction and speculative engineering) and could let me explore more serious themes of conflict and ecology. The general aesthetic owes less to bright-and-shiny science fiction than harrowing war films like Downfall and Come and See, though there might be a bit of extra grime from my own time on the road! Nothing I’ve done has been perfect and constructive criticism’s welcome. My drawing’s likely to improve and I’m just as likely to revise or edit old work over time.
The stuffed toast’s very different and it’s been joined by a stuffed coffee mug. There’s a totally sane explanation: this stuff lets my partner and I trade skills and work on projects together. There might even be some money in it – faves on DA don’t pay bills, however much we wish they did! I’m currently neglecting a pikelet and now that I’m back in Sydney a stuffed toy cat with button eyes might make a long overdue, entirely inadequate, but sincere peace offering.
Thanks again for your time,