Pichu by Eben. July 24, 2006
I used to draw...a lot.
I started to scribble whatever things when I was just a toddler. I would grab hold of a pencil or pen, and off I go to vandalize the walls and the cabinets. I remember drawing Fido the Sprite mascot. In elementary school, I participated in several poster making contests, most of them having the same old theme which has something to do with the environment. Preserve this, conserve that. I got my first award during first grade. I enjoyed every “Sining” classes, though sometimes I would lose confidence with my own artwork whenever I see some of my classmate’s masterpieces that are far more “cooler” than mine. I would try to do a frame-by-frame animation using the pages of my books and drawing a stick man in action. The back of my notebooks became my instant canvas whenever I feel like sketching something whether it be a drawing of a superhero I invented myself or a game design ala Super Mario. I created my own comic book at the age of 10. My classmates would always ask me when the next issue will be released, and I’m so pressured thinking what’s going to happen next as the story unfolds.
I can say that anime influenced me a lot. But honestly, when I first saw Dragon Ball Z on TV, I was shocked. I never thought that cartoons can be very gory. Witnessing animated blood or bodies cut in half, I mean this is something that western cartoons never dared to show. Would you believe that during elementary school we had Dragon Ball Z in film showings and even Chuckie the killer doll? (Well, that’s a different story). I went crazy over Voltes V and Daimos, became a follower of Gundam Wing and even had a crush on Sailor Saturn. My succeeding creations for upcoming comic books we’re heavily influenced by anime.
A friend of mine taught me how to draw using pencil and streamlining it with an ink pen. I find it neat, though I would still prefer using pencil alone to make my drawings look raw and natural.
I love to draw eyes. Eyes can be very expressive and at the same time, blank. I would think of different ways to draw an eye - sparkling, lively, dull, wicked, dopey, or sad. Maybe I’m just fascinated how the sense of sight can also convey emotions in many levels.
Drawing hands is my weakness. I draw people with their hands on their pockets or hiding it in their backs. I find it hard to symmetrically draw each finger, hoping that they won’t look like deformed sausages. But I practiced, because I find it important for my comic characters to have at least simple hand gestures. And as the cliché goes, practice makes perfect. Well not really.
Time flies and as my younger years build up, so is the pencils, sheets of paper, crayons, oil pastels and watercolours. On my fourth year in high school, I participated in editorial cartooning. As I reckon, the issue was about the separation of the state and the church. I wasn’t supposed to join the contest for it was actually my best friend who’s been chosen initially, but for some freaking reason he backed out and pointed his finger at me. Of all the participating students coming from different public schools in the city, I landed second place. It felt so good being recognized. Then I went on to the national level, unfortunately this time, I didn’t win. But the experience is something worth the try. Another experience I won’t forget was when my logo design for the population education society was chosen as its official symbol.
To be able to draw not only became beneficial to me but also to other people particularly my siblings and cousins and even neighbours. Whenever my younger siblings have a project that requires a picture to be drawn, I’m the one to be called. In every Nutrition Month, or United Nations celebration, my cousins will come to me and ask for my services to draw some posters and slogans.
I used to believe that drawing is my passion. But eventually that passion died. During college I became so busy with part time jobs and thesis and became even more busier when I finally landed a job. In short there was a sudden change in priorities as circumstances demands for it. It feels like my hands are now used to typing and clicking, but not drawing. Yes I design flow charts, entity-relationship diagrams, workflows and all that jazz. But it isn’t the same as using the right side of your brain and letting your imagination flow freely into your hands.
But maybe it didn’t die after all. Perhaps it’s just on hibernate mode, waiting for a wakeup call. Or like a pencil that just needs some sharpening. At least, I can still have an alternative career just in case. ^_^