Raven Appreciation Post

Raven artwork by Aria-tan

I want to give a special thank you to Aria-tan who I commissioned for this artwork.

I don’t remember exactly on what day, I first started working on this character… but I made his birthday and the setting of the novel start in the month of December. Now the start of the story is pushed back to August but that’s beside the point. So I created his birthday December 9th. One, because Dec makes me think about the snow, and the snow has this mystical feeling to it when it’s fresh fallen covering the world in a crystaly white blanket that fools you into believing you can go swimming in it. It actually snows more in Jan and Feb but no one ever tells you that, you just find that out on your own. And two, because nine is my favorite number XP.

Every creative person starts somewhere with something, and as a writer/artist…I started with Raven. In my earrrrrrrly days when I was still thinking about being a zoologist and working with animals don’t get me wrong I still love animals though, I always doodled and came up with stories for fun. My dad who is a pathetic fool but I still love him is one of those dads that when he sees something their child is capable of doing that’s awesome he would boast and say “he/she got it from me!” and right away my old man started telling me how he use to doodle bugs bunny and mickey mouse.

But then he doodled some random face on the back of a grocery receipt. It was kinda like a caricature, wasn’t that great cuz he was out of practice, and then he showed it to me and said, “You wanna know how you really get better at drawing? Make a character and draw that same character over and over. This is mine” then he laughs and says how he forgot the name of it. This was years ago. I think if I told him this story he wouldn’t remember. Ah my old man… I have a hate/love relationship with him.

Raven was that first character I began to draw over and over. I can’t seem to really think of any other original characters before him because none of them had names. The basic idea of Raven was inspired from a weird dream I had about an orphan boy. Around that time, I didn’t have a good relationship with my sister. And it was really in part because we were both so different and couldn’t connect. Seriously I hated her guts she was so annoying! And a copycat too lol.

She saw my drawing and being her nosy self, she asked me about him. I told her my dream and how I might want to make a story. Then my sister asked what that story would be about. So then I told it to her. Word of mouth, making it up as I went. And she became hooked. So did I, making up names of new characters, and adding things inspired from the anime/books/tv shows I watched.

It was through that one thing that I bonded with her and *beats fist to chest* we stopped being enemies. It was a beautiful thing. I kept drawing Raven. I kept coming up with stories and scenarios about him. His best friend Daniel, different lovers/wives in alternate situations, and the children that would come from those relationships.

That caused me to want to draw more. I wanted to put those characters on paper so that I can see it and not just read them in my words. My practice in art was off and on. I was never consistent with my practice even now unfortunately. I need to draw every day but I don’t. And it all started with Raven.

Through thick and thin of my topsy turvy life, things have changed, I moved around a million times and my choices in career has flipped over several times too, but what stayed the same is my desire to draw and write. And mostly write about him, about Raven’s life and his adventure.

I don’t do it for anyone; I just really do it for myself. Raven is the reason why I decided to take art more seriously. It’s because of wanting to “draw the same character over and over” that made me realize that I had this talent and that it’s actually worth something. I love doing this; it’s my favorite thing for me to do—to make stories, and to sketch out those characters.

Raven is pretty much the leader of my fictional world and from him, all my other stories and spin-offs followed suit. He’s a reflection of myself, but at the same time, his is totally different from me. And over the years his has evolved from this clichéd self-fulfillment mary-sue into this varied solid three dimensional character. I ripped him away from my mind and now he is his own being.

He taught me through writing the novel drafts over and over and over, how to make a proper characters; how important it is to include flaws. He allowed me to notice human behaviors in the people around me and apply them to my writing in my effort to improve. I’m always self-critical of my writing and I’m always looking to improve. I can never stop learning.

And sometimes when I sit and look at his drawings, even though it’s just sketches of his face I’ve done over and over thought the years, it makes me smile and reminds me of the state of mind I was when I drew it. I remember, and I learn from it. Yes indeed, it makes me a better artist and a writer as well.

And so every year, when December rolls around, I think a lot about how much I’ve grown creatively. December 9th has become my own personal holiday that only I celebrate—it is a reminder on why I started drawing. Because I wanted to illustrate his story. Raven’s story.

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