New year, new Months! Well, that’s the standard every year, and it’s been the ‘new’ year for some time now, but we’re back in the past, because this was my first creative work of 2008! And perfectly-timed with me freshly moved back from Colombia, where I’d been living for the past year and three quarters (we nearly made it a whole two!), to start a new life in London. (It wasn’t the north this time, where I’m originally from.)
So what better way to kick off the New Year in style than with some brand-new designs for the Terrific Twelve? OK, so maybe they don’t look totally new – many of them still keep their traditional outfits on – but this would set the tone for annual re-drawings of my characters.
June and July have reverted back to wearing shorts and trousers respectively (unlike the previous incarnation of the Months, where they were reversed), which was my original design for them. And you may have noticed that December is now wearing a smart black suit over his red Santa shirt! Unfortunately, he now seems to have developed what I’d like to refer to as the ‘Pictou problem’… (That’s a reference to Canadian Boys and my novel Once Upon A Time In Canada, in case you didn’t know.)
And you may also have noticed that some of the Months (like April and May) have been coloured in with coloured pencils! Having had one drawing succumb to fading from the sun, I decided to change over to coloured pencils, although I would still draw outlines using a black felt-tip pen. (Much, much later, I would switch to using pencils for drawing outlines, thus completely making any mistakes erasable.) The coloured pencil inside black ink outlines gives the characters a sort of classic cartoonish feel, or more like fantasy coming into contact with realism. (I briefly discussed the advantages and disadvantages of pens vs. pencils in my previous exhibition.) Ironically enough, I still wasn’t colouring in their skin at this point (though I would start later that year), so they still looked eerily ghost-like.
With brand-new designs in tow (for a select few), how would the Months spend the next new twelve months? (Months spending months? Ha ha!) Well, you’ll just find out over the next several blog posts…