What do you do in your free time? I used to have a real problem in interviews when people would ask me that kind of question. ‘What hobbies do you have? What do you do in your spare time?’ I would always simply make something up or sadly admit that I just went to the pub with my friends or watched films (the latter wasn’t even true at the time god knows why) — not that there is anything inherently wrong with that but it does make the fact that you don’t have a pursued passion or something that you simply do for the hell of it apparently clear. Or it did to me anyway.
Later in life my other projects or businesses became my hobbies. Putting on events, putting together Who’s Jack Magazine — but these all slowly and surely turned into work later on down the line and with that lost their ‘I’m just doing this for the hell of it’ nature. Now, although I do love my work and I am very fortunate to have work that treads a fine line back and forth between hobby and passion and for a living, I do feel it’s important to have at least one thing you do just because you enjoy doing it and for no other reason. Something that you find truly relaxing and that sets your brain back right again when it’s whirring all crazy thinking about life’s troubles and tribulations. And more importantly maybe that you can really write off some time for, without feeling any sort of guilt because you know that this is something in life that in some shape of form feeds your wellbeing.
It was with this in mind that I decided I’d learn how to draw comic book characters.
I only really connected recently with the fact that I’ve always wished I could draw from my head — without references or stimulus from elsewhere — things that are fantastical rather than an altered literal. Sure I can draw you a bowl of fruit sitting on the table or that bunch of flowers in the vase over there -a landscape, a cityscape — anything I have a reference for — but never something purely from my head. To be honest I didn’t really even have the fantastical ideas to draw on in the first place but I always jealously looked upon the work of others who did, thinking I wish I could do that. And seeing as jealousy is an ugly emotion it’s worth turning it around and using it for the inspiration to have more of a go myself.
This has become my latest little sideline that doesn’t need to go anywhere or serve any purpose other than enjoyment and satisfaction — it’s just to learn something new and different.