Inktober is always a bit of a highlight in my year. I do love me a good challenge!
Last year, I did a series of short stories in comic format for the daily prompts, and this year I decided to continue with my rebellious attitude of participating, while totally disregarding the official rules, once again.
Day 1 - Prompt: Fish
I liked the idea of choosing a theme for myself again, and "inspired" by a year full of stress, worry, quarantines, lock-downs and uncertainty... I figured I wanted to travel to distant places with my art this year. Meet strange and mystical creatures, experience varied landscapes and chase that thrill of adventure with each prompt. Instead of telling a story in a comic format, I want to try to tell a story with a single image.
Day 2 - Prompt: Whisp
My parents grew up under a communist regime, where religion was not part of the culture, so they never push anything specific teaching on me. On the other hand in Lithuania – we still have very deeply rutted pagan sentiments, love for folklore and a connection to nature. So despite growing up in a more or less atheist family my childhood was full of magic, mystery, myth and wonder.
I talked to trees, flowers and bugs on a daily, I believed that the forest and lakes are full of magical creatures, I read and memorised hundreds of fairy tales and myths from our Baltic folklore, that talked of the world full of spirits, gnomes, talking animals, and sneaky tricksters luring you towards swamps at night…
Day 3 - Prompt: Bulky
I do miss that magical world I lived in as a kid. And although I do not have as deep of a connection to it as I used to… Sometimes I still manage to hear them in the shimmering trees and to catch a glimpse as the light is filtered through the foliage.
Now stories follow me in a bit of a different way. I noticed that all of my favourite media I consume, has one unifying factor - story is the main focus. Be it books, music, art, films or games. I am and always was attracted to a story.
Day 4 - Prompt: Radio
Just like an image can tell a whole story, or a book ‘paint a picture’, so can a song. Some are like movies ( eg. Big Iron by Marty Robbins) some are like great literary epics condensed into 7 minutes (eg. Straight Through the Mirror by Blind Guardian). The point I guess is that media does not matter. What matters is the story. And I guess as an atheist I struggled with finding that grand ‘meaning of life’, and the idea of perceiving my life as a story, really did help me.
Day 5 - Prompt: Knife
Maybe it comes from some need to contextualise things around me, put everything, even my own actions into a 'narrative' always was a coping mechanism for me. I was even told by my parents many times throughout my childhood, that I 'live in a fantasy' (and it was not always said with the most positive connotation – but I have to admit I was always a bit dramatic as a child).
Day 6 - Prompt: Rodent
But just like in science practise, people rely on the work of previous researchers to make new discoveries, they stand on the shoulders of all their colleagues from the past. I see stories in a similar way. They allow me to experience more in this life, gain more ‘experience’ even if it is secondary.
Day 7 - Prompt: Fancy
As I read, watch, listen, create, the stories allow me to live a thousand lives, travel to places that do not even exist, meet and loose friends, fight, die, seek and find. One could argue that all of these things are not real, and so – do not mean much. But If I am experiencing all the emotions as real, then what’s the difference?
Day 8 - Prompt: Theeth
Because this - as Sir Terry Pratchett would call it - Narrativium, has been such a strong force in my life, I feel like it also influences my art.
Day 9 - Prompt: Throw
I can not create a piece without having a story around it. Like a method actor, I need to live and feel what my subject live and feel, to get the moods, expressions, the 'feeling' of a piece just right. I guess that’s how most artist are. But it is hard to know these things, because it is hard to explain or talk about.
Day 10 - Prompt: Hope