On October 2nd, 2014 I drew a little girl sitting on top of a tortoise.
It was day two of Jake Parker’s Inktober challenge and this was the first time I decided to participate. I completed the challenge, making 31 ink illustrations for 31 consecutive days after I came home from work. It was exhausting, but the challenge motivated me to push myself to produce new ideas and better work, and that motivation sticks with me to this day. But it wasn’t the only thing that stuck with me.
Why a little girl and a tortoise? I guess the idea of a little energetic kid on the back of an old and slow counterpart was amusing to me. While I was drawing the pair I started thinking about how they met, why the girl was on top of the tortoise instead of at its side, and where they were going. But I didn’t get very far. Every idea seemed too predictable, so I shelved the makings of the story for another day.
More ink illustrations from Inktober 2014
But the pair stuck with me, trodding slowly between my thoughts for almost a year. I added them to multiple storylines during this time, but, again, they didn’t fit. Finally, I decided to redraw the pair in a style that I had been practicing at the time. The new look of the pair felt energized and fun-loving, and moments after putting the scratches on the tortoises shell the idea for DON’T BLINK! hit me. So, I got to writing.
Of course… I can’t just tell you the story of DON’T BLINK!
You’ll have to find out what happens on your own.
But I can tell you that the little girl and the tortoise taught me a valuable lesson about being creative. I’ve always known that it helps to be patient when drawing a picture, but I didn’t really appreciate how patience applies to an idea. Ideas that may seem unfinished or unoriginal aren’t always what they appear. Sometimes, you just have to let them grow before they’ll tell you what they’re destined to become.