Art and Words Go Hand in Hand

This year, I decided to follow my passion, come what may; be that poverty (too late), famine, war, Judgment Day, etc.  And I’ve kept to that resolution.  Midnight Steps and What a World are both back on track, and accomplishing that was easier than I expected.  I’ve finally breached my junior high years in the memoir (latter), which I had been dreading, and I’ve entered the much darker (and faster-paced) half of the thriller (former).  Very excited about both projects, but was inspired by a recent flyer from a local art museum to submit some work for their upcoming exhibit…so, now, this temporarily will take priority over the books, as the submission deadline is July 22.

The first project is one that I created last year, an enclosed diorama which I call “Tower of Power” because it essentially represents the classic power hierarchy in the form of an expressionistic castle tower, outfitted with windows revealing the innocent, idealistic, and workaday population (bottom); the affluent  (second level); the ruling elite (third level); and at the very top, a sort of Eye of God, symbolizing the supernatural and spiritual forces beyond human comprehension which truly govern everything.  Interspersed are images and small sculptures/figurines carrying this concept further, i.e., faceless figures “behind the scenes” making things happen, and miniature chess pieces that suggest power games/political plays.



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It’s a rather highbrow, cerebral idea, but I like it, so we’ll see what happens.  I’d also like to turn the concept and visuals into a nifty little storybook, eventually.

Equally highbrow and pretentious–but with a much stronger message–is the other project that I recently started.  Shelley and the Blue Vampire is a visual story modeled on those “crime boards” used by police and detectives (at least on TV) to map out exactly how a crime was committed, when, by what possible suspects, and so forth.  I’ve wanted to do an art piece around this idea for a long time, and when I thought of how I wanted to realize Shelley, a haunting little tale that I had dreamed up around Christmastime along with Bad Medicine, I found the crime board theme perfect for it.  In short, the plot will be illustrated in 3D “photographs”, inside a glass-fronted shadowbox, of each scene, with a brief narration card beneath, reading to the effect of “Shelley at nine years, when such-and-such happened to her”.  The events–bleak and dire, in the style of a delightfully morbid little Edward Gorey Gothic titled The Hapless Child–will culminate in tragedy most timely–by gunfire, in a public park, which kills two innocent people.  The “Blue Vampire” will signify the depression which runs in Shelley’s family, and he will grow in stature with each appearance along the way, in a sense feeding on her as her mental condition deteriorates.  The timeliness is abetted by the presence of bullying, a failed welfare system, and of a firearm either held by a character or visible in the background of every scene, among which will be a drug dealer’s derelict abode and a politician’s office.  I want to turn it into a storybook as well, not too far down the road.



Yes, I’m expanding my comfort zone with this one, for my stories/projects almost never venture into politics or social issues.  But again, I thought this might be a neat idea to pursue, and I’m curious to see how it will be received (if at all) by the museum.  To be honest, I don’t even remember what the prizes are for winning submissions.  It’s the trip, not the destination, right?

The other time-sensitive work that I’m looking at completing, by early September in this case, is The Horrible Hand!  The head of the writer’s group, The Write Stuff, that I belong to has fixed a showcase at a local bookstore for eight members, on September 20th.  I immediately thought of this as a chance to show off HH and its concept, and see how people react.  Plus I would just like to see it completed, formatted, and in book form.


The creative juices are flowing, if nothing else is at this time.  I even plan to start going to a local open-mike night for writers, and get this–I’m auditioning next Saturday for a local independent film about the day-to-day events in a comic book shop.  I’m kinda looking forward to it, even though I know that, should I be cast, shooting will diminish my own artistic time.  But…that’s what happens when you’re multi-talented, I guess, ha.

Oh yes…I’ve also decided to send The Blue Candle script to a theatre group I’ve worked and been acquainted with for years.  Just to get a response.  And for the same reason, I will be advertising Flickers on my local performing arts list, specifically in search of a photographer to take the shots of the characters in the “silent movie” scene fragments/illustrations throughout the book.

No one can say I’m not trying.

About RetroMan

My three greatest inspirations as an artist are, in no particular order, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Alfred Hitchcock. Their films and their personal lives were the reason I started writing and creating back when I was a very lonely and misunderstood teenager. I am at present commencing to hammer out a career-primary or secondary-as an author/illustrator. I already have several books self-published and I've included links to where those are available. Thanks for stopping by! View all posts by RetroMan

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