Artists

An Aimless Obsession

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I wrote this quite a while back and had it published on Broowaha.com. Since I’ve been rather busy lately, this will be some stand-in content until I find the time to write something special for all my lovely readers. 😉 

There once was a sculptor who loved to create beautiful images. He studied all sorts of subjects, ideas, and wonderful theories. He loved sport and lived for the game. His game, however, was played with people. He poked their minds to examine the results. He prodded their emotions with verbal sticks and noted the reactions. He did not allow for personal attractions or petty feelings. He concentrated on his work and did little else. His grandest accomplishments were but experiments to him once they were finished. In his mind, he never failed or made a mistake; if there was an error, he would fix it. One day, he came across a wonderful subject. A beautiful specimen that was fraught with countless extraordinary ideas. The more he talked to her, the more he knew that this sculpture would be special.

He thought of her night after night and formulated plans and ideas. He worked on the piece day in and day out. Almost without paying attention, he had made a wonderful image. So real and lifelike, his masterpiece was his finest work by far. All of the other creations stood by and gathered dust. He neglected his regular interactions and studies of other examples. No other object in his gallery was even close to the level of detail and mastery that was displayed in his rendering of this subject. He talked with his subject, he got to know her, learned about her background, studied her interactions with others. His former lack of personal investment in his life was, in this case, ignored. He began to gauge everything else by one scale, and it all fell short. The obsession which had seized him was one that was neither healthy nor safe, yet he pressed on with his reckless passion.

The sculpture was almost complete; it was nearing perfection, at least, in the eyes of the sculptor. He concentrated even more heavily on it, he worked until he had imparted all of his knowledge of the subject upon the image he had created. A strange thing here began to happen. The subject began to fade in importance and the image began to rise in his mind. The image was now as complete as it could be, given the artist’s knowledge of the subject. The time came when the subject had to leave. The artist no longer had her to study and learn from. He was left with an aimless obsession. The inevitable happened; the image replaced the subject in the mind of the artist.

His obsession once again had a topic, but it was not nearly as fascinating as the original. It did not answer him in the same, unpredictable ways. He could examine it, but all new data formed was done so by extrapolation. He turned over conversations and information in his head, like a tape replaying the same song. It drove him to the brink of despair. He no longer knew what was real and what was fabricated in his own mind.  The answers did not come as he expected, and often his own suppositions were not what he wanted to hear. Like a flame his anger would explode, until he realized the source of his anger and at whom it was directed. As soon as the blaze would flare, a rushing wave of guilt would come crashing over his head and douse the fire.

Self deception had led him down a path to place that he created, yet with which he was not at all familiar. Everything was of his own doing, yet nothing made sense. The statue stood in the middle of his room and haunted him. It brought back memories of reality and his old perceptions. He would study it for hours on end to try and interpret what he was missing. He had created a trap for everything that he loved, and in the process, he had snared himself.

The Backstory

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It all began in early July, 2011. The sun was beating down on the pad of paper, the ink in the pen was boiling, the shapes were beginning to become sentient…

“Whoa, wait a second, the shapes are becoming sentient?”
“Yes, just… listen to the story!” 

Anyway, let me back up a little bit. The paper is actually a notebook. A stark white drawing pad with a blue insignia on the front page. The black spiral binding winds its way around the pages like a plastic snake. It’s early July in North Carolina and the sun is exceedingly hot. The pad and pen had been left out in the open, allowing the heat to quickly warm the paper to dangerous conditions.

“Wait, why is it dangerous?”
“Hold on… I’m getting to that!”
“Sorry…”

On the paper were badly drawn practice images of strange visages, scribbled shapes, and horrible depictions of Al Gore. This was the sketchpad of an aspiring comic artist. Unfortunately, this particular artist couldn’t draw… like, at all. The pictures were terrible, the puns painful, and the punchlines were smashing. (sorry) The main characters appeared to be shapes. Simple polygons with facial expressions. A very strange and odd idea indeed. But back to the shapes themselves. The square had an innocent and fairly naive outlook on life, he looked around with wonderment at the world that he had just awoken to. The triangle, on the other hand, was a mischievous and conniving fellow.

“Ok, so, the square and the triangle are looking around the world now?”
“No, no…
they’re two dimensional, the only things they see are on the pad of paper – the grayscale drawings and scribbles that are sharing the pages with them.”
“Oh… that’s drab.”

The triangle looked around and realized the possibilities and opportunities he had waiting for him. The wonderful things that he could do with a simpleton of a square and a whole notebook page to work with. Thus, he began. The puns flew, the jokes were unleashed, and the ridiculous was realized. Soon though, the triangle discovered something else… there was an even broader world out there. A three dimensional plane of wonderment that held the one gem he sought. The one thing that the triangle wanted was to spread his madness and mayhem. At long last, he realized his goal. He conquered the obstacles that were before him and reached his final destination. The shapes have a blog. The world is no longer safe. Stay updated, warn others, send them to squaredawaycomic.wordpress.com. It’s for the greater good…

“You’re just saying that to get more traffic on your comics site…”
“Shhh….”

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Have a Good One,
~XK