Even the most beloved activity cannot compete with that tempting social media thing…. and thus it’s tumbling down the rabbit hole….
Even the most beloved activity cannot compete with that tempting social media thing…. and thus it’s tumbling down the rabbit hole….
A new installment on my series about smartphone addiction, Spell.
This one shows how increasingly addictive new tech and apps shape new behavioral reflexes…
Well, this year feels like a century already, and October is not even over yet!
Speaking of October, I stepped out of my cloud of sorrow (personal tragic events I may post about later) and semi-oblivion (I wish I could drown the former into the latter) to stumble upon that drawing-with-ink-in-October controversy which grappled and still divides the art drawing community. My questions were : “Why?” ” What is it about?” and “Does it matter?”
Not sure if we can answer that, but we can think about it. Ah. Thinktober.
I did some research and here are my thoughts. Maybe the 2 first questions cannot be answered but it definitely does matter.
Disclaimer : 1) it’s a longer post than the previous ones, and 2) as the name In*tober is not allowed to be used any longer, as per its founder’s (J*keParker) new rules set last December, I’ll go by *drawingchallengename*, or *challengename* which I might register too at some point, after all).
Because, hold on to your hats, there IS a two-fold controversy and I can see why, as many of us creators do too.
Ink challenge in October was created in 2009 by J*keParker, a Disn*y employee, to improve and practice (his) ink drawing an skills throughout the 10th month of the year, following a prompt a day, during 31 days. Smashing idea. Others joined in and quickly it became a creative meeting for thousands of artists around the globe, and some were popular artists with amazing skills already and great talent, who had not waited this challenge to amass considerable visibility, followership, products based on their craft and solid success. What followed for this concept was a decade of amazing growth based on a good-natured spirit and attitude. So what went wrong?
First part of the controversy : Trademarking the name after 10 years of piloting the October ink challenge ship and calling in lawyers as echo chambers to forbid artist to use logo and name. So the *challengename* is no longer an inocuous hashtag or title one can freely affix onto their art piece before sharing it with the world/community of artists. Thus restricting the use of said name and depriving creators of the visibility and notoriety both induced and expanded through their very contribution to this particular Autumn art challenge since 2009. For many, it felt like that one person most of us has had a bad experience with : someone you worked with or helped out, a boss, a colleague, a former friend, that steals your work or robs you of the reward for your efforts, belittles your contribution, forgets to put your name on that article you wrote, forgets to acknowledge that negotiation you eased and won, eclipses that crucial help and encouragement you provided, deliberatley omits to praise and recognize the part you played, or attributes your work to someone else if not him/herself, all in order to shine brighter in the light of the ensuing success… It felt like a betrayal and a backstabbing, and as such, it is as despicable as it is immoral. I suppose it certainly felt so for many artists of the *namechallenge* community. (I for my part have no exact idea about how to feel about it.)
As his name grew overtime in notoriety, turning him into a very successful entrepreneur, the founder has had the priviledge of reaping the benefits of his *challengename*, which are plentiful : his paying online courses about drawing and inking, a massive followership on SocMed and on his Youtube Channel, books, standard and exclusive (as in *challengename+year* special editions) art supply boxes, collaborations and teamups with affiliates and, last but not least, his own illustrated books, prints, comics, stickers, original art and patreon memberships, available on his website shop. He is not a struggling artist.
This online creative get-together has brought him fame and $$$, and it’s a good thing. Participating in the challenge was a fun way as well as an incredible opportunity for artists of all walks of life and style to commune while create amazing art around 31 prompts. It was suposed to be (as per the founder’s own words on his Instagram account in 2018, reposted on a DevianArt chat) “…a month long celebration of drawing, creativity, and self-improvement.”
This ink challenge would not have gained such popularity, let alone the massive participation across the globe and the feverish anticipation, if no one had boarded the *challengename* ship and posted and reposted their creations around the prompts on their platforms, encouraged in so doing by the founder. Mind you, *challengename* has also its own official Social Media accounts. It’s an entity on its own. This spread of joy was like a self-fulfilling prophecy, as the participants’ pieces of art were the very fuel that helped the lil’monster grow, expand, attract more participants (and later on, sponsorships and monetary collaborations enjoyed by its founder only) and everybody was happy. It was also the opportunity to connect with fellow artists, to marvel at their skills and imagination and to encourage beginners who were bold enough to enter the arena. (I myself was very happy -and exhausted upon completion)- to participate in 2018. It was fun, it was a way to stick to a plan efficiently, as well as a fab way to meet and marvel at other artists’ work and creativity while getting better at it and at inking.) So this challenge was a good & generous deed, looked favourably upon by the art deities such as Athena, Polymnia and Apollo.
Or so it seemed.
Until the ugly face of greediness crawled -a little less surreptitiously than the -legit, surely- desire for the founder to transform the challenge into a cashmachine that we saw creeping in over the years- into the picture in Dec 2019, when the new legal frame was set for the *challengename*, namely the use of the logo and name, going even as far as closing down artists accounts that were still using the *challengename*, as first title for their art pieces. We’re talking stunning art pieces here, created during or for said challenge, which the founder had gladly shared his enthutiasm for before 2020 and for which supportive community he should still be grateful. We all can understand that he is the father of this baby and want to keep teh rights to his intellectual property, no one contests that. It’s just the way he did the trademarking and the way he castigated potential abuses and suddenly censored practices and usage of the *challengename* before any harm was done. (He could have TM it right in 2009). THAT, rightfully perhaps, was seen and felt as unfair and a bit low.
The second thing the founder stated along with those legal guidelines is the now frowned upon use of digital tablets. Whereas in the past, the founder has expressed his almost neutral point of view on using the digital pad for the 2020 edition, he has now dismissed digital drawing as not embodying the spirit of the challenge. (Founder on his SocMEd, 2018 : “Initially, the challenge of In*tober was focused on traditional inking. Although learning how to ink digitally is a skill separate from traditional inking it is no less valid. If you want to improve your digital inking skills then doing In*tober digitally is a great way to challenge yourself.”) It is also quite hyocritical of him, seeing that in 2017 he teamed up with Autodesk to release a set of digital brushes. But suddenly, digital art is of less value, or unworthy of *challengename* or so he let us arrive to this conclusion in a fashion that is less than honorable, but quite mean.
Now, for the 2020 edition, it was this name-calling and finger-pointing at artists that understandably divided the art community as early as this summer, when his laywers began to ban (sue?) and prevent artists from making sales with their art, or even compiling their drawings as their *challengename + years* creations in order to have a copy for amateurs to buy, or even creating collections of their art. This can deprive them from a source of income most artists can not afford to lose.
During the last decade, with a growing community being so thrilled to participate and share the great spirit of drawing as well as for the name of the challenge itself, the founder has benefited largely from the enthusiam of the art community, be them digital or traditional artists. He and his now trademarked challenge have gained tremendous visibility from the free advertising and marketing campaign brought to him by of a very encouraging community and a hashtag used as nearly as 19 million times so far.
The founder (which by then was famous for this baby) had by that time secured (and let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with that, lucky him) :
# collaborations with pen and paper/sketchbook manufacturers (some sketchbooks deemed “revolutionnary” no less) with the big logo stamped on them (as well as on the boxes)
# prestigious sponsorships and visibility , for instance, the gigantic platform DevianArt has been hosting *challengename* awards (but cancelled it for this year).
# pricey (not my words, but other artists’ reviewing the box) monthly or yearly *challengename* boxes, with supplies such as a *challengename* sticker and sketchbook, paper and pens for $90 or more…
Good for him. But he did not build that community alone.
Second part of the conroversy:
The founder has secured a book deal regarding the *challengename* and how to do it “all year long”. He was bound to release in Spetember a “guide” or a book of advice on how to become a better ink artists. This outcome is fine. Good. Excellent. Something all artist can dream of and cause for celebration. Except if allegations of plagiarism are raised. Plagiarism is not cool.
And sadly for the entire art and ink artists community, this is something that artist Aphonso Dunn alledged in a video released on his YT channel Aug 26 2020. It has tarnished a little more the already stained name of the *challengename* founder. Other artists have since then compared the books (frame by frame, taken from JakeParker’s own vid of flipping his proof copy and Alphonso Dunn’s book, which took 3 years to complete) on their YT channels aaaaaaannnnd there are some unsettling similarities between the already published book by Mr Dunn and the founder’s upcoming book. I was curious, and to be exact, for what I saw on those vids, there are too many similarities for it to be just coincidences. So much so that the book release, based on those allegetions of plagiarism, was put on hold by the publisher. But I leave that part (plagiarism case or not) to the experts. The founder of this challenge has probably not adequately adressed the legitimate objections raised against his latest decisions but he certainly responded in a very insensitive way. It is understandable that he wanted to remind artists of the rules, yet the vast+ majority of artists followed them already and created real masterpieces, there was no reason for this unfair move.
As for the digital art being suddenly demonized by J*keParker and his manner of gatekeeping it, I can’t shake the feeling that it screams “I feel threatened, I am insecure” (and maybe a little jealous, perhaps) so he refreshes the artits’ minds about who the boss is. Maybe this primal reaction had not even reached his consciousness to be rationalized and dealt with in a better way in a proper time.
Nonetheless, and notwithstanding the amazing concept this challenge has been, the apparently contemptuous attitude of JP and the use of legal actions towards some artists within the community who literally made the brand the incredible powerhouse and success Mr J*keParker came to enjoy (and monetize) is bordering on unforgivable.
So, as much as I like a good challenge, I have already completed this one in 2018, so I know I can and could do it if I wanted to. And frankly, this whole mess is something very sad, which only once again illustrates only too accurately how big bucks in the equation corrupts everything. It’s also a textbook of how greed and a complex of superiority coupled with a despicable sense of entitlement can tear a community apart and eviscerate the very notion of respect for others or for their work, and their legitimate right to monetize their talent.
As for me, if I draw, it’s for myself or this project I’v ebeen working on, with my own ideas on my own terms.
So long, F.
( if you want to know more about that, search in your browser inkt*ber controversy)
The light above my head was too bright, but I could neither open my eyes to see it nor close my eyelids tighter to escape it. A vague murmur found its way to my ears, that I identified as two voices whispering in an unknown language. I could not place those voices, they were too low for me to recognize them. I think someone touched my head or my neck, but I could not tell exactly, then put a cold, metallic object on my chest. One voice felt somewhat familiar and the other one was somehow a voice I had heard before. A pinch in my arm, the sensation of a cold fluid running in my vein, a little pain, then everything dissolved again.
Trying to open my eyes later, as I felt I was awakening from a dreamless sleep, I found my eyelids to be heavier than lead. How long has it been since I got this strange injection in my arm? Lying flat on my back, I felt a slight stiffness in the lumbar region, so my brain commanded that I moved but to my great surprise I could not even lift my little finger. I vigorously protested my disappointment, only to understand that I could not speak. I thought I was shouting, but my lips remained sealed and my face, still as marble. In the silence surrounding me, walled up within my body, I felt cold and lonely, and scared. I noticed that the light was dim, and that it was soothing, in a way. I tried to evaluate if the temperature was warm or cool but it was impossible to determine that.
I think I was covered with a blanket, because I did not feel any kind of slight breeze or draft. Yet the air seemed clean, but not too cleansed or saturated with antiseptic like in a hospital. Very muffled, and sporadically, a sound like a purr was noticeable when I listened attentively. Where was I then? Why was it impossible to move, even my eyelids, or the corners of my mouth? Why was I able to smell? I tried to swallow only to discover I could not. I could not even sense my tongue. And my mouth had no particular taste, not bitter like after too much alcohol, nor sweet like after a chocolate binge or after my morning honey tea.
So, two of my senses were impaired : touch and taste.
As for my sight, I could not tell, because I could not open my eyes. But I could hear, or at least, last time I was awake, I could. But was it a dream or was I really awake? The light became brighter on the other side of my eyelids. So yes, I decided to list sight as not impaired.
I heard again the voices and their strange language. I focused hard to analyze them : one had a calm, soothing, neutral tone ; the other was a little more feminine, perhaps? But definitely a voice commanding respect nonetheless.
Objects clanged beside me, that I could not identify.
A metallic voice announced above my head over PA : “COB to crew : port remains on target. Prepare. COB to CPO of the watch. Assemble lookouts.”
Another metallic voice answered : “CPO of the watch to COB. Lookouts in the control room.”
The strange conversation continued, sounding like Chinese to me, which is not a language I am familiar with.
“COB. Lookouts to the bridge.”
“Land, two-thuh-ee, ten thousands…”
Those words made no sense to me, I just had figured we would be entering a port soon, so we were at sea…
“Radar, make an automatic sweep on PPI. Use a five thousand yard scale.”
“Radar, two contacts…”
Icy fingers on my arm, smell of rubbing alcohol.
“Captain to Navigator, for communication with the base. Captain to IDC, get to the bridge…” The rest faded away.
I felt the cold fluid under my skin again, invading my system, stripping me of my consciousness and drowning me into an artificial sleep.
“You are being taken care of, you had an accident, fear not.”
I recognized the language, this time. I had a brief sensation of fingertips slightly touching my arm, just where the needle had entered my flesh, a little pressure that may have lasted less than three seconds.
Then the obscurity swallowed me just as I wondered, what accident were they talking about…?
(Deep Waters copyright Florence Vitel 2016-2020)
(A novel – copyright Florence Vitel 2016-2020 for NaNoWriMo 2016)
Trees, one after another stretching their height before my tired eyes and vanishing as quickly as they had appeared on the sides of the road.
Trees, neatly aligned, regular pillars of civilization, perfect embodiment of man’s domination over nature.
Trees that we fail to see if we are not observing them. I surprised myself and thought of how beautiful they were, like adornments on this long boring road.
The yellow and copper leaves, with their pinkish seams, bore an element of enchantment, as they swirled graciously in the cold breeze. From time to time, a drone passed by swiftly, discreet patrols appearing from nowhere supposedly to help with any accident or unusual incident. Everybody knew they were continuously on the watch and recording, and not just to report mechanical problems or environmental incidents.
The clouds over the flatland had become oppressive, with their woolly and leaden shapes. Scarce rays of light pierced the sky like an ancient god’s fingers, and reminded me of a particular painting by Turner, or maybe it was Johan Christian Dahl. Those trees at that moment, it occurred to my suddenly puzzled mind, were the exact expression of my own enslavement to said civilization and progress. How long has it been since I went in a forest for a walk or a hike? When was the last time I had wandered in open fields, let my senses harvest the beauty of nature, rolled my feet onto polished pebbles on a shore? Or watched the clouds passing above me with their tails of cotton ribbons coloured by a sunset, flat on my back in the grass?
Inadvertently I sighed. Arietta and Osten sitting in the front seats of the car did not hear me, for they were engulfed in an intense conversation on a subject I could not remember. I only noticed that Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony subtly filled the air. My thoughts drifted more. After a little break, in two weeks’ time, I would head to my parents’ country house, to celebrate our birthdays, my sister and I, as we did every year. We never often gathered, and we had chosen long ago to jointly celebrate our birthdays. And after that, well… After that, a new page could be written for me.
I also reflected on the past days. We had just left, my two colleagues and I, a 5-day training course on Ocean Acidification near Viborg, or shall I say NewViborg, in NewDenmark, and just a few days before that, we had attended an international symposium on Isotope Hydrology in NewVienna. There we were, worker ants of a bigger colony, rambling from one place to another to learn things, to gather information, to exchange crucial data and like ants, working together to support the colony in an hostile environment, with only this narrow empty road in the middle of central Jutland to link us to our earthly nature. The landscape showed the glowing hues of a continental autumn despite the looming storm. We had chosen to spend three days together in NewCopenhagen before the flight back to NewVienna, to rest a bit, to visit the town and to detach ourselves from the sad reality of changing seawater chemistry, and its subsequent further endangerment of wildlife. As if there was not enough to fear, along those lines.
The Symposium in Vienna–I could never brought myself to call this city NewVienna, as I had been living there several years after I completed my phD, and I did see its change of name, but never fully acknowledged it ; for me Vienna will always be Vienna, New Ecoregional League or not, but I do not bother for the cities I have never lived in to call them by their new designation– had been as informative and also as much worry-inducing. For now, all I needed was a break. My work as a nuclear physicist kept me long hours confined in a lab, bent on my notes or plunged up to my neck in experimentation in a thick walled underground facility. Or attending symposia on subjects related closely or less closely to the world of nuclear physics and their numerous applications.
So, trees, I did not see much of them in my everyday life and these leaves waving in a faded sunset brutally told me how disconnected I had become from this nature I used to study when at the Uni and lately only been scrutinizing under my quantic microscope. Focused all the time on the extremely tiny had brought me to forget the normal-sized rest of my world.
I distractedly toyed several minutes the idea of quitting my job to become a beekeeper… a dream I had when I was a child. But now, bees were controlled and bred by the Ministry of Designed Wildlife ; old-school beekeepers were considered renegades and as such, publicly chastised and heavily fined. A die-hard rumor said that despite this rule, they had organized themselves in secret societies to bring back the bees in the country.
I looked at my radio-control watch. In roughly twenty minutes from now, we should arrive at NewArhus, the port where we would get a ferry to cross the Kattegat, the sound between Sweden and NewDenmark, to reach NewCopenhagen via route 21.
Discreetly, I unlocked a secret compartment lodged on the back of my watch and checked its content. The ultraslim flash drive was securely tucked in, sealed in a tiny waterproof pouch made of noctonium and lined with palladium.
I smiled. This flash drive contained data I intended to exchange for an unlimited wealth and liberty of choice. This amount of data was the fruit of years of research, mine and analysis I did about the works of others, who failed to see the connections stemming from our various works, yet closely related somehow. But I had been the one connecting the dots, for I had compiled those informations, experiments, research results and data during after hours work, following an intuition I was close to prove right. The analytics were too precious to be wasted, misused, discarded or wrongly credited to someone else and I did not want to hand them to the owner of my lab. You see, my doubts about my lab not being entirely free of “foreign and dubious” influence had been recently confirmed, and although I am not big on politics and feel mostly unconcerned by that, I still have ethics and a moral sense of values.
The lab I willingly slaved away my youth for and devoted my best neuronal activity to was on the verge of being phagocytized by a bigger consortium I had found out to be quite corrupted and which showed an excessive willingness to serve an ultra-radicalised groupuscule of the government (in opposition, but powerful still) I did not want to acknowledge as legitimate, nor as a just, honest, or eager to do the right thing institution.
This little flash drive was the sesame to my freedom. I would pursue my research elsewhere, which was my only real worry, and if I could work without having to question my consciousness, then all the better. It’s not that I have particularly iron-clad views on politics, or supremely high moral standards, but my basic needs to be met. And radicalisation, racist or totalitarian ideologies are not compatible with my threshold of indifference. Besides, alongside the growing disgust I felt for my current lab, and the disappearance of a colleague of good repute, and a rampant atmosphere of defiance, it has been easy to take the leap. I knew that with my profile, the field I was in, my eagerness to achieve and my impeccable records, it would never be a difficulty for me to find a new sponsor. My decision was to set sail for another future, brighter, during this very trip, and let myself board that ferry and never to disembark from said ferry. Maybe I should have warned my parents that I would probably not be able to join them for the birthday party… The wind rustled in the copper leaves, my thoughts twirled under the clouds like those lonely leaves did in this fading afternoon.
The half-track car, the newest PaxTrakx model of TrakxFast Company, with its pads and caterpillar chain-tracks seemed to float above the Teflon-coated asphalt, like eagles on a hot current of air.
The last colours of the day absorbed by darker clouds, Mozart still powerful in my ears, I felt somewhat melancholic and at some point heard myself scream : “Stop!”
The driver slammed on the brakes, and even though the half-track car came noiselessly to a halt thanks to the electromagnetic system, we all jolted towards the windshield, held by our seat belts.
Osten glanced sulkily at me but his irritated voice managed to stay calm : “Something the matter?”
Arietta stared at me shyly. Osten and Arietta were old colleagues of mine, we had worked together and in separate teams during our careers, occasionally reunited when projects brought us on the same subject, or because we had convergent interests. Arietta had specialized in nuclear fission. I had met her during a master’s degree I did on the topic, thirteen years ago. Osten is the ultimate specialist, in my opinion, of nuclear fusion by magnetic confinement of plasma utilizing the Stellerator design. Yet I did not understand why they were both so keen on having me enrolled in a conference about Ocean acidification and another one about Hydrology. I did not see any connection to our field of research. But then again, they had convinced me that I might benefit sooner or later, in my work, from these scientific presentations, as I had grown heavily interested in finding new ways, particularly in water, to source deuterium and tritium, those atomic elements of hydrogen necessary to achieve nuclear fusion.
I stared at them blankly, a little confused, because it had just become clear that these training sessions could simply not be related to my work. Or theirs.
“None of you should have been there” repeated the little voice in my head. There was something else, “something is not right”, the voice subsided again. Besides, Osten had displayed signs of nervousness all day long, which is unusual for him, as he is a tower of self-control most of the time. Little mouse uncomfortable at the moment, glancing in my direction from time to time, for whatever reason, Arietta had shrunk on her seat.
Osten asked again why I screamed. I had no reasonable answer to offer, so I clumsily pleaded an urgent need to make a “technical pause”, virtually impossible to resist, and the absence in the car (and I am sorry to say things as prosaic and trivial as this) of a Travel Pissotière, this device one can buy at any port, airport, or carport. A travel pissotière is a box capped with a tube (for men), or a cone (for women) or an oval ball (for unspecified gender), that is lined with a sponge full of chemicals, which releases a scent of eucalyptus once used, and that can be cleaned, dried and reuse almost ad vitam aeternam for the traveler, very discreetly. Hence the name.
Osten slowly pulled over and I got out of the PaxTrakx.
The field on this side of the road was open and wide, lined with thorny edges and glowing wind turbines. A drone approached, circling for a minute or so around us. I knew it was scanning our faces and pattern of movements to identify a potential road incident. Osten pushed a button near the steering wheel to signal that everything was ok, so the little drone resumed its patrolling.
I put rubber pads on (every vehicle of this kind carries four pairs of pads like these), secured them on my shoes with straps, in order not to fall on the slippery Teflon.
In the past decade, every road in NewEurope had been coated with this polymer, in order to ease the transition from fossil fueled vehicles to new bio-masse or alternative energy propelled ones, combined with the adequate gliding material. Yet, some proto-countries had chosen to not transition to this new technology, like Sweden or some federative states of the Great Phocean Combinate in the Mediterranean Region, due to their geography or their environmentalist policy. But I am not here to explore the geopolitics or ideology thereof…
I gingerly crossed the road to get to the other side, where I would enjoy a little more privacy, and disappeared behind a bush. But instead of stopping to do what I was supposed to do, I continued to walk.
Predictably, the air was cold and salty, I spotted the distant fire of an automated lighthouse, uneven yellow strips of light on the clouds. I took off the pads, my shoes and my socks, despite the cooler temperature. A tickle ran along my legs as my bare feet touched the cold ground. A thin dew had lined the blades of grass, and the sphagnums full of water made an unmistakable sound as I stepped on them, the long-forgotten but yet still somewhat familiar “sploosh” as the water was expunged.
In the distance, I saw the vehicle and its TFC logo shine in the last rays of the daylight. I spotted another drone patrolling near Osten and Arietta.
There I stood, barefoot and ankle-deep in the watery marsh, shivering, my lungs filled with as much fresh air as possible, faintly light-headed with each inhalation I took, a little dizzy too by an overflow of irrepressible yet inexplicable joy. I laughed gently, unable to control this wave of well-being that had arisen in me. The scent of the approaching night burst in my nostrils, a mix of humid hay, freshly turned soil, iodine and this strange thing, the cool particles constituent of the nocturnal air, which is different from the air full of light we breathe during the day. I laughed more loudly, blissfully.
It’s always felt like a respite to me, this kind of air. When I leave my lab, or any place I might find myself in, if I can, I like to breathe deeply at night in my lungs. Maybe because I work until too late so often, it’s like a breath of freedom after a long day. It felt no different that night. My old companion the night, always eager to catch me before I get home, winter or summer, day in, day out. Married to my work, like many of my colleagues and unlike my parents, instead of a loving or at least a matching-enough partner ; reluctant to leave my world of science to dwell into the world of humans, burying myself in the former probably to escape the latter. I had just made a plan to change that and enable myself to be free to do whatever I wanted.
Lost in my thoughts, I forgot the marsh, the cold water, the night falling on me.
I was happy to stand in the middle of this countryside, reconnecting with my earthly nature, my mind filled with all the opportunities that lay before me. Nuke science, of course. But on my terms.
Yet something was slightly different, and not everything was about to go according to said plan, for it was the last time I would breathe this air.
copyrighted work all rights reserved Florence Vitel 2016-2020
So, a friend stated yesterday that this crisis should inspire me for a novel, I answered that I had already begun a novel revolving around it and a group of people confined in a sub, for a NaNoWriMo challenge. I wrote about half of that novel during the month of October 2016…
The title is “Deep waters”.
And coming to think about it, it’s quite weird that the very subject is about a group of renegades of all nationalities and walks of life (doctors, geophysicist, scientist, nuke researcher, biologists, pshychotherapist, artists, outcast…), confined in a clandestine submarine, escaping the mercenaries set to kill them and eradicate them paid by repressive authorities of their governments and countries, with as backdrop the collapses of democraties and politic systems known until then (it it set in 2056), massive destruction of the ecosystems, huge climate changes, and spreading of deadly infections, notably pulmonaries, and with a growing advocacy for “neutrality” in gender identification, and reorganization of countries and geo-political aeras of influence, constraint and “retraining” of minorities in camps…
Due to all the reasearch I had to do, it went on very slowly. (I had to understand thoroughly ocean acidification and how a nuke sub works, among other things.) I have had barely time to continue since the end of 2018, but those past days, I have felt like I have to finish it now. Several friends and familiy members have already read the first draft as early as Nov 2016.So, for those interested, I’ll set up a link with a password on my blog for you to read it, if you like.
Comment, DM me, and let’s make this a collaborrative work >> your interest in it fueling my creative tank to finish it rapidly.
Let’s see whre this leads us. Thanks for your time.
Stay safe at home..
(Pls find a screenshot of my editing history of Deep Waters, as in my Drive.)
That’s a very old drawing! McIntosh computers were all the rage, before Apple blossomed onto its virtual ashes ( well, sort of, Jobs was fired from his own company and … you know the rest)
Nowadays, I could have drawn a phoneperson with a cellphone grafted onto their hand, as it is becoming a 21th centurty plague, because we are becoming so addicted, some of us are unable to switch this device off, when with other humans/dining/showering, or visiting a museum, or do anything, basically….
Well, actually I did a similar drawing of a girl under the spell of her cellphone, for Inktober 2018… check it out!
Tech is out to get us, folks! Keep drawing and writing prose or poetry!
So long, Floreva
This drawing is both a reflection and an achievement. By the time I finished it, I realised the face of the climber looks like my younger (and beloved) father’s. But that’s another story.
Climbing to the top of the mountain, figuratively speaking or not, physically climbing to the summit, our personal pyramid of goals or simply the objective to become the best person we know we can be, all this can be synthesize in the picture of a mountaineer, contemplating his feat, sitting atop of the peak he’s just ascended.
George Mallory once compared climbing to being an art, thus in his statement linking the climber to being an artist. In his writings about climbing, it describes it as a symphony. Surely, in his days of discoveries and challenges, with gear retrospectively dubbed as “inadequate” by modern mountaineers ( a statement which I am not sure to agreeing with), climbing “unconquered” mountains set in unchartered territories was a much more dangerous adventure than it is now
Now, who said mountains have to be conquered?
They were there before us and will be long after we’re gone. It’s just another belliquose term to describe a feat of courage, effort, motivation and pushing one’s limits. And it does not reflect properly the tremendous journey it can be. The very word implies a warlike confrontation of some sort, with a winner and a loser, or someone asserting their power over something.
Mountains are not conquered.
But we are, by the intoxicating adrenaline rush, the empowerment of achieving an arduous task, the supreme boost of esteem attached to victory over difficuty and over ourselves. Afterwards comes the joy of being rewarded by an impressive view and a deep sense of completion.
On the other hand, fear can be conquered ; shyness, jealousy, envy, greediness, suffering have to be conquered too. Because those emotions or feelings never vanish entirely, do they? They lurk in a dark corner of the soul, muzzled for a time, feeding on one’s insecurities. We can conquer them, and yet have to remain watchful of their taking over our heart and sensibility. It’s a never ending task.
So, let’s just climb mountains, and conquer our fragile selves.
Really rigged democratic elections or really democritic vote? Same difference in the results sometimes : the people’s voice is not always heard or taken into account.
What do you think?
(Indian Black Ink and watercolours, from the early 2000’s. It seems that the wheel turns, yet nothing really changes *sigh*)
Disclaimer : this is just a drawing.
Yesterday I watched one ep of the 6th season of “Endeavour”.
Actor Shaun Evans, brilliantly plays Inspector Morse in the splendid period prequel to the Inspector Morse and Lewis tv series.
So I thought I’d dig up the drawing of Shaun Evans I did a while back, to share with you.