Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Enna Burning and Elements

WARNING: Very random personal rambling.

This is the first time in many months that I've finished a drawing that I a) did just for fun b) put enough effort into so that it's worth of putting online anywhere...

This is not because I've been lazy though! It's because for the past six months I worked on illustrations for a fantasy manuscript of mine (on the side of working on my degree work and other school stuff and editing the fantasy manuscript maniacally, eheh). I ended up drawing over 40 pages of them, redrawing a lot and finally keeping over 30 pages. Now I'm waiting for rejections...

Anyway, I was rereading Enna Burning, a very awesome, inspiring, heartaching and understanding fantasy tale by Shannon Hale. And I rarely draw fan art too, but I remembered how much I love Enna, the main character, again and I just had to draw her. I'm actually semi-happy, almost quite happy with how she turned out.

I took some liberties with the fire... She doesn't actually throw it in the story like she seems to be doing here, but more like burns things with thought. You can just imagine she threw something in the air before burning it, if you like. Because I was shameless and just wanted to try to create this cliché visual effect with the fire. It was fun.

I think I've improved my watercolour technique. A little bit.

Reading Enna again made me think about elements quite a bit. Mostly relating to people and my fictional characters. When I was younger, I used to type people by elements all the time. I had always typed people according to my own subjective categories, long before I ever came across personality theories like MBTI and Enneagram which I'm currently obsessive about. I typed everyone by colours, flowers, stones, planets, animals, mythical creatures, you name it. I didn't really think about it as a kid, but that was my way of supporting my memory and people skills. You know, it was just an association thing that helped me sort out my understanding of others. ^^'

But it was in second grade when I really got into elemental typing. It was because I started reading W.i.t.c.h. comics. (If you're not familiar with it, it's a story about five girls with elemental superpowers, the fifth element being "energy".) I read it as my comic bible for five years or so. It was hugely popular for a while. I mean, who didn't have their own W.i.t.c.h. gang? Everyone had to figure which one of their friends was which of the girls/ who used which element. It was kind of fun. (For some reason I was never one of the five though, but I was assigned as their friend Elyon who didn't use any element but rather random magic. Apparently I just didn't have the personality of any of the W.i.t.c.h. girls. I can sort of see why. I was never the funny one (Irma), the strict one (Cornelia), the brains (Taranee), the wild one (Hay Lin) or the leader (Will).)

In my head I didn't actually type people according to W.i.t.c.h. girls or the logic of elements in the comic. I went more with looking for the quality of the elements (according to my logic...) from their personality and behaviour and only used the four commonly included elements. (Though I didn't voice these typings.)

Looking back to it, I had plenty of fire around me. Raging fire, supressed fire, emerging fire. I think I was attracted to it because there was always next to no fire in me. I didn't always have the smoothest relationship with it. Although it was generally rare for me to make anyone mad, I can see why someone would get frustrated with my lack of agressiveness.

Which brings me back to Enna. She's definitely not the only fire representing character I'm so fond of (No, there's... so many of them.) but I think she does it very well. The idea that there's something in you that can turn into a destructive force and engulf you and everything you love is so well brought out in Enna's character. How addicting the power can be and how hard it is to keep it under control. And ultimately, how you can only find the perfect balance by having other elements both in you and beside you. Which applies to all people and elements of course. : )

Haha, so I guess that's it for the element rambling. I haven't really typed people according to elements in at least six years but this book took me back for a bit. And I can see why typing fictional characters like that can still be helpful, although it may seem rather simplistic. It can help articulate the impression you want to give. Not sure if I'm going to invite the elements back into my system but I guess I'll see about that.

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