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breeden
ursulav

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http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/12823510/

Um. Yeah. I had these 6 x 6 clayboard squares, and thought "Hey, I've never done a triptych before!" and this sorta came out. It's a small weirdness, not much more. Might be a Gearworld piece. The jury is often out for awhile on whether things are Gearworld or not.

Occasionally I feel like some sort of historian or anthropologist, perhaps more accurately, trying to put together a clear view of some region I've never visited, based on a collection of postcards, not all of which are even from the right region. Except it's worse than that, because I have to PAINT the bloody postcards as well, and Herodotus I ain't.

The funny thing is that I could sort of...I dunno...bend Gearworld to my will if I really wanted to. I could start dictating what it is and what it isn't, and what goes where, and naming places, the way I do Digger's universe or the continent that "Black Dogs" was set on, or what not. I could dig out graph paper and draw maps. There's a very distinctive sense that I Am Creating Stuff Now when you do that. I could say "This here is like this and it's always like this, because I say so." I could make Gearworld do that if I really wanted to. I think.

But I find myself reluctant to try that, as if that'd wreck something vital about it--it'd become just one of my made up worlds instead of some kind of tenuous link to the murky squishy nether regions of my brain. (I don't know if it even IS that, mind you, but I'd like to think so.) So I don't. My work is often silly, frequently even trivial, but Gearworld is something that seems to having something behind it. (This could just be wishful thinking on my part, but I cling to the notion.) So I don't try to dictate what it is too hard. Even if occasionally it seems like it'd be a lot easier that way.


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it'd become just one of my made up worlds

I know the feeling. There are pieces that come from what you want to do, and ones that come from what you need to do. The whys and whats of the ones you need to do rarely make sense, but if you don't do them, bad things happen.

I've been wrestling on and off for far too many years with a comic book idea. It comes from the underside of my brain. I've imposed a certain degree of structure and narrative on it in my notes for it, but I've resisted a lot of pinning-down impulses - the city it takes place in, for instance, has no name. It incorporates fragments of dreams I've had.

If you mapped Gearworld, wrote tomes of backstory and mythology, you might kill it. Nothing more to discover, nothing more to wonder about it, it's done. Obeying the instinct that says not to do this sort of thing is tough, sometimes.

Yeah, it's like Not Poking The Sore Tooth...the desire to WANT to know is pretty strong, and I always was the sort who reads the last page of a book way in advance so I know how it ends. *grin*

Oh, well, I suppose a little discipline is good for the soul.

After a while I start to think that deliberately not working something out is as important as working it out. This may just be a side-effect of the way I draw, admittedly, where what's unstated is as important as what's said explicitly. What texture is something I draw, really? Does it matter? What do all the gears in the walls do - does it matter? (Maybe it does; maybe that's a Deep Gearworld Secret waiting for the right painting to tell it.)

Most of the books I read... the last page doesn't tell you how it ends. It just makes it stop nicely. The real end is somewhere else, and the last few pages are... the last chord, resonating into silence, so to speak.

Narrative completeness isn't the be-all and end-all of a story, by any means. The Gearworld stuff really seems more like a continuing series of mood pieces than a story, or a defined place - it's a captive, looming mood, rendered in paint. And I imagine it'd be hard to use it as the backdrop for a story, without either going too cute for the mood, or too gloomy-and-goth to take it seriously any more. Doable, but the characters would have to rise from inside it, not be imposed on this cool moody setting...

Whereas I read the last page of a book before I buy it, if I don't know the author or the series, to see if the story came to as well-done a close as it opened.

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