I just love little people. Really, I do. Figurines, action figures, models…they all fascinate me. I remember vividly my collection of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe warriors, and their castles and vehicles. It was a vast collection, and I recall it very fondly.
It is packed away in a corner of my parents’ basement now, but I have plans to go through it in the near future and organize it, along with all my other scads of action figures, and my Super Powers figurines, and their ilk. I’ve thought about putting them in the community garage sales that my parents’ neighborhood holds every August, but I honestly don’t know if I can bring myself to do it yet. I still have an emotional attachment to those toys, and a part of me feels disloyal at passing them off to kids who probably won’t appreciate or care for them half as much as I did. Maybe I want to go through them one more time just for the sheer pleasure of holding them in my hands again, and reliving those memories of endless afternoons of enjoyment that they gave me.
I suppose I would be remiss to explain why I am including this post in this blog, when at first glance, it doesn’t look to have anything to do with my own personal artwork and writing. The simple fact is, it has everything to do with my own work. My time spent playing with action figures, making up stories, working out plots and direction of sorts…this all proved to pay off as I reached adulthood and began to write plays and novels and to link my artwork with them. I will admit that I was a real tyrant as a kid when my friends were over and we played together with my miniature empire…my main problem was that my friend(s) didn’t put any thought into the adventures we acted out. They didn’t spend time thinking up plots, or how to use each character to his/her best advantage…they just went at it, usually so roughly that I hollered bloody murder. I didn’t want my figures slammed into each other over and over to simulate battle; I preferred just to pose them and let the battle take place in my mind. And anyway, these toys were my childhood friends as much as Steven, Jason or Adam. I would not allow anyone to abuse them.
Gradually, as was to be expected, I set aside the He-Man figures and the castles and the Super Powers and their company when I started to grow up. But my passion for little people far from waned. On the contrary, I became interested in creating my own miniature worlds by drawing characters I either made up, or admired from various movies or books I enjoyed. I spent my adolescence and early youth making paper dolls rather than dating or partying or sneaking out at night to TP my neighbors’ houses with friends. This didn’t help me then, socially, but as I look at my life now, I can see exactly how much good it did me in the long run.
Today, I am a passionate designer/sculptor of the miniature personage, and of environments for them. Some of my best friends nowadays are Sculpy, cardboard and toothpicks. I can literally lose hours at a time as I work to realize my vision of a character I have thought up, a set for a story I am writing.
My love for the performing arts…for drama and old movies, especially thrillers and mysteries…is the thread which ties all of my creative work together. The three-dimensional stagings are my writing brought to life, and they form a drama to be photographed and included throughout the play, novel, etc., that they represent, to enhance it. I will admit that I’ve never yet run across any other work that is quite like what I do.
This morning, I shopped on Ebay for miniature model people to use as “extras” and minor supporting characters in my dramatic dioramas. I wound up investing in 250 little figures…two hundred unpainted…and I can’t wait for the day when I open my mailbox to find them there. Two hundred and fifty tiny doses of inspiration are on their way to me, from China, no less.
It’s the little things in life, you know. 😉