We are at the end of the year’s journey with the Travelling Artists’ Guild, and Susan has asked us all to respond to certain questions. Here is my reply.
Mandatory: Return to the Guild
Wherever you are (your character is) on your journey, you receive a message or call of some description asking you to return to the Guild. Wherever you are, you will find a way, perhaps even in magical form, to return to the Guild on or before 30th September.
Having met up at a place named Skarlton, Zentara journeyed back to the Guild Halls with her Guild mentor, Grunthrin, and her grandmother, Isolda, as part of her continuing quest. They rode together – no magic or summons was necessary – the decision was made within the story that they needed to return.
I have now written the final stages of her journey for the year, finishing at the Guild, and posted them here and to my own site. There will be one more post – The epilogue – that I’ll add later.
Review the Shared Projects
At the outset, everyone was asked to create these projects:
– A Travelling Trunk
– Paper Bag Book
– Small Journals
– A Map
– Map Fold
– Map Bag/Pouch
– A Doll
Please briefly describe each of your projects (if you made the art) using this format:
a. Short description
b. Link to a photo
c. Personal thoughts on how interesting or useful you found this project. How did you use the object? What role did it play in your journey?
Of the above objects, I didn’t make the map fold or bag. As for the others, here are my answers to the above questions:
My ‘trunk’ was a bag. I altered an existing plain bag that I had, and it has hung next to my computer within my study for most of the year. I also altered a box, and it is in this that I have kept Zentara’s journal and a couple of other items that I made later. Although mentioned in her initial setting out, neither were actually instrumental in the journey or played any role. However, as a visual reminder of the journey and as a place to keep together the visual artwork, it was invaluable.
Paper Bag Book
As I’d never made one before, I found the project fun. However, it played no part in the journey and only contains two items sent to my by other travelling artists: an ATC (thanks, Shakti!) and a drawing by Adam (thank you, too!).
For this, I cheated a little. Having a perfectly good ready-made sketchbook that I decided would be ideal for this project, I painted the cover and used that as Zentara’s journal for the project.
I did several sketches within it as the journey unfolded. A useful place to draw or sketch out ideas of how places looked, or to illustrate a certain point within the journey. However it is not even half-full. My original plan was to use this and make another when I needed to. But I did paint two canvases, one based on a sketch that I made in the journal. The canvases were kept within the bag, once I’d tired of having them in my living room, lol.
I may well use a journal or sketchbook again on similar projects. However, to jot down ideas and names and notes to develop the story, I used a separate ring-binder with loose sheets of paper. I also had a small book used to develop the languages, both of which I keep in a folder.
So I suppose you could say that I have used more than one journal – just not in the format originally prescribed!
I have three. The main map of the whole of the world of Rohinval; a second of the area I expected Zentara to explore; and a third with more detail and covering an even smaller area. Made with Campaign Cartographer.
I stuck them on the wall next to my computer so that they were readily available whilst I was writing. I also have copies in my folder with the ring-binder and other notes, and these have been written on as I came across new locations or decided on names for those places Zentara would be visiting.
Useful as reference and a guide as well as a source of inspiration in that areas marked can become a focal point for certain actions or decisions eg a range of mountains can lead to the naming of a race, or an obstacle to the journey that has to be overcome.
Maps are something that I always make when creating a world. They nearly always change as I write, but are the ‘skeleton’ of the world within which the story develops. For me, an essential element within the story-making process.
A fairly simple cardboard doll ‘dressed’ in fabric and with wild pink hair.
Within the story, she was left at the Guild. In reality she has been looking at me as she pokes out of the bag hanging by my computer.
Her hair was almost accidental in that I had this feathery pink material available when I made her. It became an integral part of who Zentara was, and as such played a vital part within the development of the character. Apart from that, the doll had no purpose. But I’m pleased that I made her, and she has pushed me into action on several occasions – sure she stared at me when I ignored her for too long!!!
Here are a couple more images:
Finally, before I leave the Guild, my thanks must go to all those who have taken this journey along with me – their company has been an inspiration. But most of all, my grateful thanks go to Susan, the creator of the project, and without whom Zentara and the world of Rohinval would have never been created.