Friday, 22 February 2013

Drawing and Writing Inspiration - guest post by Bridget Shepherd

Kat's blog, I am in you! Ahem. A big thank you to Kat, for inviting me to write this guest post. You may be wondering what I'm doing here with this drawing of a bikini clad fire mage. The topic of the day is drawing and writing inspiration, or as I like to call it - art imitating writing imitating art. I think many of you writers out there collect images which you find inspiring while working on any given WIP. Maybe you find images of celebrities who remind you of your main characters or images of buildings or landscapes which inspire your settings. I do those things too, but being both a writer and artist, I also get to explore things from my WIP concepts by drawing my own versions of them. Sexy fire mage here is an MC from one of my trunked WIPs. Drawing her helped me solidify her personality and looks in my head. She's a little flirty, someone who knows how to be calm and enjoy life and she loves her magic. I knew some of that before drawing her, but drawing her cemented it for me. Let's take a look at some other examples.

These two are essentially the same character. Her name was Mira in the top drawing, it had previously been Meranya, and it is now Aria, as pictured in the bottom drawing. I've tried to write her story several different times and in each new incarnation her vibe and appearance change slightly. To capture her new essence in the new version of the story, it helps me to draw her. She is also similar in appearance to a certain flavor of character that I've been drawing for years and years and to some degree she is linked in my head to all those other characters. I think it might be like a right brain - left brain thing. In the writing part of my mind, I think about characters one way and in the drawing part of my mind I think about them a different way and it can help make connections that my writer mind wouldn't make.

Drawing is by its very definition a visual medium and so one element it has always helped me nail down is appearance. Jason, pictured on top, has that tattoo and drawing it really solidified where it was on his body and what it looked like. The drawing also conveyed his vibe - his confidence and the fact that he's into martial arts. Lilian, pictured on the bottom, never had a clear wardrobe in my head until I drew her. She also has a certain air about her which I captured in the drawing and which I could always refresh in my mind while I was writing by looking at the image.

Bridget Shepherd
Drawing does have its limitations. I draw in a rather anime/manga sort of style and so I have a tendency to give everyone "anime hair," so I'll supplement my art with photos of real hairstyles if I want an MC to have a haircut I don't like drawing. Also, drawing places isn't my specialty so I'm more likely to have inspirational photographs than drawings of my locations. Despite those limits, drawing has a special way of connecting me with my characters that I don't get any other way. Looking at a drawing of a character can bring so many things about them to mind, just like listening to a song associated with a character can bring to mind important aspects of them and their story. So, it has become an intrinsic part of my writing process. 

I also love drawing friends' characters. You can spot my rendition of Kat's character Eden on the Purge and Purge Wall pages of this blog. Btw, Purge is the BEST THING <3 but if you're reading this blog you probably already know that.

Thanks for reading my quirky little guest post.


Kat here: Thanks, Bridget, for such an awesome post, and for sharing your amazing artwork!

Got questions for Bridget? Ask away! And please check out her blog and follow her on twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks again for having me on your blog :) I'm happy that you like my art. <3


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