I’ve been meaning to make a new time lapse video of me working on a new digital illustration, but honestly, it keeps slipping my mind by the time I get to actually sitting down and working on the work.
This one… Hmm, I didn’t really go into it thinking about much. I was thinking about pain, how I don’t really draw my character Azra showing pain (he doesn’t; he’s one of those people that kind of swallows it down) in any sort of physical sense. I did toss around some ideas with some vague sketches based off of some poses I was managing with my anatomy doll, but they were ultimately not very dynamic.
The image above I was originally thinking about Azra’s penchant for yelling into the ocean when he’s (drunk) upset. Since he is water sensitive, it’s a dangerous move for him to get near bodies of water. So initially I was thinking about the rush of water by his hands and knees, a knife in his back… But not a real one. I’ve been using this sort of glowing, ghostly image of arrows, swords, or other weapons to represent memories of trauma in the past, rather than being the actual item being used violently. You can see such a thing in some of my other works:
Keeping these things in mind that a. my pose wasn’t dynamic, b. what I wanted to do with the knife, c. that canonically the character does not really show pain, I worked up a new idea that I thought conveyed mental and emotional pain. I bounced back and forth between adding blood, like in Wounded above, but I thought it attracted too much attention and instead added small, possibly self-inflicted scratches instead.
I also based this idea off of some lyrics by EDM artist Odesza:
It’s only water, it’s only fire, it’s only love
It’s only slaughter, we’re only liars, it’s only blood
They’re only thoughts that
I’m having thoughts safe within my head
You’re only crying, you’re only dying, you’re only late