This week I thought about the fact that I’ve never drawn anyone from Hopeless, Maine. I’ve coloured plenty of them. I don’t draw much – I’m not very confident in my drawing skills. There’s an additional thing that for me, these are Tom’s characters, and as I can’t draw them like he does, I haven’t ever really thought about me drawing them at all.
In recent weeks, I’ve watched Dr Abbey get to grips with the Hopeless Maine cast. He’s drawn all of the main characters, some of them repeatedly. There’s been a process of him figuring out how much of his own, more manga-informed style to deploy and how far to dig in emulating Tom’s style, and what’s resulted is something that clearly blends the two. It’s been amazing and educational to watch.
And it got me thinking about why I’ve never even considered trying to draw the characters from the books I am involved in creating. Seeing what Dr Abbey has done with the characters has left me feeling like I could have a go.
Art, like any other skill, requires time. Talent is nice if you can get it, but time invested in developing what you can do, is key. I am never going to put in the hours that would allow me to become a good artist, because of the time I need to invest in writing, and reading and other aspects of my life. But, creativity shouldn’t be just about being able to produce work to a professional standard.
So, here are my takes on a few of the Hopeless characters. I hope my sharing this enables other people to feel they can have a go too. We’d love to see your versions of our people.
Owen Davies, as he appears in The Gathering, back when his taste in hats was especially bad.
Salamandra in the grumpy, gothic early teens stage.