Friday, June 4, 2010

Old Drawings of Birds

My older sister was cleaning out some old file cabinets at our auto body shop and she found a folder filled with old drawings I did anywhere between five and eight years ago. I usually shudder when I see my old drawings, but this time I thought it would be kind of interesting to post a few samples to show where I was at only a few years ago.... that and I don't really have anything else to post right now.

I used to doodle like hell on the back of tests and work packets I had at school. One of the older pages I found in this folder was a Spanish test I took in 2002, with the back covered in drawings of ducks (which goes to show that I was obsessed with drawing ducks even back then).

When I look at some of these pages, I sometimes can recall the exact time and place I drew them. With this one, it was a real surprise. These drawings are the first I ever did of Steve-O, the duck I've practically drawn every day since high school. Back then, I imagined him as a pet to one of my older characters who I eventually got rid of. He was more or less a real duck; he didn't speak and really didn't have that much in terms of personality.

At one point, I changed the eyes to ones that were completely closed off all around. I think I only kept it that way for less than a year, then reverted back.

The scenery in this picture was supposed to be a city that the birds lived in, called "Birdbrain". It was pretty much like Springfield in the Simpsons. It had a city full of skyscrapers, a giant egg shaped factory owned by a conglomerate corporation, a Levitown-like neighborhood, a fisherman's wharf, farmlands, forests, a swamp, and probably the most improbable example of terrain in the history of existence: a giant cliff in the middle overlooking a lake with a tiny island, where Steve-O lived in a house shaped like an egg.

It really had the most unusual geography. In one corner of town, it was facing the ocean, but in another it was facing a desert, and then mountains and finally a giant waterfall near a swamp. And the boundaries between the different sections were about as seamless as walking from Tomorrowland into Frontierland at DisneyWorld.

Some vague resemblance of planning keys, I guess.

Since I didn't date drawings back then, I can only gauge that this was probably drawn in 2004. It was about that time when I started to square off their heads a little bit at a time.

My mom never would raise hell towards me or anything that I did, but the one thing that always bugged her was when I would draw on lined paper. It would drive her nuts. She would say, "Its a nice drawing Michael, but WHY THE HELL DID YOU DO IT ON PAPER WITH LINES ON IT?!" But I couldn't care less. If it was paper and was blank, I'd draw on it.

I should redraw some of the old setups, just for the hell of it. It would be weird to see the same thing side by side.

Steve-O used to have this obsession with flying makeshift airplanes. I imagined that birds in this universe had evolved so much that they lost their ability to fly, which makes absolutely no sense. But I was a kid, and what the hell do kids know anyway?

It's funny to see how ideas and concepts develop and change over the course of a few short years. While I did drop a lot of these concepts, a few of them have sort of reemerged. I'm bringing back the idea of Steve-O wanting to fly and building flying contraptions for my thesis film this year, which I never thought I would bring back again. It's weird how these things turn out.