VISION QUEST

At 7:58pm, I can finally sit on the floor, on a beige blanket, which is folded twice underneath me, and at last… it’s quiet.

Comfortingly quiet.

Eight hours of twisting logic by the light of the sun and an LED monitor explain the candle glowing a few feet away. I just need… some other form of illumination once the cherry-red embers of a work day have cooled and there are no distractions, interruptions or… other things.

This is when I can make storyboards for things yet to come. This is the environment necessary for such endeavors. Such… pursuits.

In front of me, there’s a large, dry-erase board, which is filled with my own handwriting, bits of concept art, storyboards, graph paper depicting floor plans, and lists. So many, many, many lists.

Of all sorts of things.

Assets.

Inspirations.

Characters.

Rooms.

Quotes.

Timelines.

It helps tremendously to get away from the PC, for some tasks. For me, storyboarding is something I prefer not to do digitally.

In my lap: paper. And in my hand: the fattest, greenest sharpie you’ve ever seen.

I close my eyes.

With as much as planning I’ve put into a story at this stage, the images and sketches in front of me are more a formality than anything. The bulk of it, the important parts, the crucial bits, are already seared into my mind as vividly as memories of the most profound pain or joy.

It’s eternally tempting to embellish, to stand underneath something that’s unfolding and simply… look up. But, there’s only so much time. And time constraints necessitate, for me, something bordering on an adversarial mentality toward storyboards. I have to work quick. I can’t get bogged down. I can’t pause and flesh something out anymore than is necessary to convey a sequence of events and the broad strokes of a tone and atmosphere.

But, again, I can’t slow down and embellish. Gotta move! Chop chop!

The nice thing is, it’s just me, and my thoughts, and that candle.

Creation is such a… frenzied thing. It’s never not chaos, unrelenting and utterly demanding. I wonder, at times, is this what it’s like for other artists? This chaos?

For some, is it peaceful?

I’ve never been a Bob Ross. There are calm moments, here and there, but rarely is there serenity, and peace.

I think, perhaps, this is just my magic. What comes out, is what was once inside. This roiling energy… it’s corrosive, and at times: calculating.

But, I have to get it all out. Somehow. All these ideas… I can’t let them fade.

It’s the broad strokes, yes, but so much of it is good.

Great, even.

Spend enough time working quickly, by instinct, and it sharpens intuition. When you trust the mind, and slave yourself to a process that directly follows intuition… it changes you. It reinforces cooperation between disparate parts of the brain. You find you anticipate things, that you expected certain events, and somehow, crazy as it seems, predicted the most outlandish of outcomes.

Anyway, back to work.

Ideas that don’t come out, simply burn holes on the inside.

Have you ever left a Hot Pocket in the microwave too long?

It’s just like that. It’s exactly like that.

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