January 9th, 2011



Today's guest is essayel, writer and artist, who has very kindly offered to share some work with us. The drawings are fabulous :).

The pictures all open in a personal album, so be prepared for some that are large.
I've created thumbnails for the pictures, so you can open each one either from clicking the pictures - as they occur in the text - or from the links in the text itself.

PS: And I must thank essayal personally, because as a result of this post I finally mastered creating thumbnails that open in a new window LOL.


Bio: I'm more than average old for LJ, but hold to the idea that 'you' - the bit that thinks - stays at an optimum age and all the rest crumbles around it.

I've drawn, painted and written for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I've wasted my time, perhaps not. I've had fun with it anyway. I was in my late 40s before I showed anyone anything I had written and she liked it! Since then I've posted stuff, usually fan fiction, where other people can read it. Reviews, as they say, are mixed. Occasionally I flirt with the idea of trying to start the long agonising process of getting something published, but usually manage to talk myself out of it.

I love my cats, dog, kids and husband and love my online friends just as much, though in slightly different way.

I work in a museum. I have worn chain mail [it sucks] and a lorica segmentata [sucks too but not as much as chain mail], and used to ride, fence and shoot a longbow before my joints gave up on me.


Here's a question for the proper authors out there. When you're writing your stories how do you visualise your characters? Do you pick actors to 'play' them or put them together like an Identikit? Do you have a strong visual image to go by or describe them meticulously and let the words do the work? Are you inspired by visual images or do you make your own?

Ever since I started writing stories, and that was over half a century ago, I've been making drawings to go with them. They aren't very good drawings, but I enjoy doing them so thought I'd put some out here for you to look at.

This is a little bit of my 2010 Nanowrimo attempt about a naval lieutenant who falls in with pirates. Two of the pirates, Lewis and Protheroe, are 'mess mates'.Collapse )

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I know exactly what Lewis and Protheroe look like (!). They are both Welsh from the southern valleys, stocky, dark, strong as the little Dexter cattle they bred round there then. I see them in the streets every market day. This isn't them, but gives an idea.

Here's a bit of 4 century BC "historical", set on the north coast of the Black Sea where Greek colonists were trying to bring a little civilisation to the Scythian nomads, not all of whom wanted any. Scythian warlord on his way up takes on a second best Theban sculptor as PR.Collapse )

This whole story came from a photograph (2) I spotted in an archaeological book, with these two bods (3) as a centrepiece. I've drawn the protagonists many times – the Eastern Scythians were big guys, blond and blue or green eyed according to Herodotus and scared the north Pontic Greek colonists silly.

I've even drawn a comic strip (4).

Atei [aka Ateas or Ataia] (5) was an actual historical personage about whom very little is known apart from a few bizarre references by classical authors so :D I made a load of stuff up. Anatolios here (6) is out of breath due to running, though I must admit that his expression is open to other interpretations.

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Nor do I let that characters belong to other people stop me. Fan art seems to be more acceptable than fan fiction for some reason. Most authors will put up with a poor drawing of a character even if fan fic makes their flesh crawl. I don't expect my drawings to look anything like the characters they portray, but - well - it's fun, the materials are cheap, and it keeps me out of the pub.

So here's a couple of pages of Harry Potter graphic novel (7) and (8), story by copperbadge, and a sketch of Remus J Lupin (9) for no better reason than I like him.

Here's Bagoas (10) from The Persian Boy by Mary Renault. The poor lad's gone a bit 'manga' but luckily she'll never know.

I watched the very first ever episode of Dr Who the first time it was ever shown, and spent a lot of my childhood hiding behind the sofa. I loved ALL the Doctors but Matt Smith (11) is the only one I've ever drawn. I love the manic hair and bow tie.

To come more up to date, with apologies to charliecochrane, here are Messrs Stewart and Coppersmith (12), the Cambridge Fellows.

And finally for erastes, Rafe from Standish (13), on a horse with legs all over the place.

I wouldn't normally let people see the doodles I make when on the phone or watching TV, [let alone the stick figure flow charts I do when trying to work out a tricky action sequence], but I have today because it's as well that people be warned that the characters they create take on a whole new appearance in other people's imaginations, especially when filtered through limited artistic skills.

You have power, ladies and gents, so use it wisely and, please, go easy on the bits with tricky perspective.



Like to stretch your writing fingers after Christmas' excesses? Take the prompt "A NEW RESOLUTION" and write something for the visitors this month. It can be anything from a flashfic 3 sentences to a drabble of 100 or so, or even more. Any genre, any theme, any rating, any character(s). Maybe ones you already love, maybe the chance to try on a new character for size.

Depending on how many (if any!) contributions we get, I'll post them during the month or all in the last week. Just send them in to me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and we'll go from there :).


Follow this month with Clare - and the goodies so far:

JAN 08: A great new novel and sequel from mickieashling.

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Check up on the original post and the Guest Schedule for January HERE.

Want to join in but missed the original call? Email me at clarelondon11 AT yahoo.co.uk and I'll happily find you a space ♥

NOTE: most pictures chosen by me and credited where known, others may be used without direct permission, please contact me with any queries/concerns.