Thursday, January 1, 2009

'FInding Normal' is born

1 comment:

  1. “That’s what fiction is about, isn’t it, the selective transforming of reality? The twisting of it to bring out its essence?” – Yann Martel, Life of Pi.

    In August of 2008, I was sitting in the kitchen of my parent’s home, drinking tea with my dad and doodling in my visual diary. I began to draw these simple little characters – neck-less figures that look more like thumbs or tombstones than like people – and suddenly I had an epiphany. I realised that I’d finally found characters for a comic strip idea that I’d had in September 2007. I’d attempted other approaches to character design that just hadn’t worked, but here I’d managed to capture something that I really felt at home with.

    The strip’s name, ‘Finding Normal’ is taken from the central character of the strip – whose name, for better or worse, is Normal. I find the idea of ‘Normal’ or ‘normality’ particularly fascinating since it is a normative concept, meaning that it shifts and changes depending on context and perception. This fact alone allows for a plethora of possible ideas. Contexts and perceptions are always in flux.

    One of my favorite quotations comes from the Talmud, which says, ‘We do not see the world the way it is, we see it the way we are.’ In other words, Reality (which is possibly the antithesis of Normality) is seldom easily accessible to us because we have a knack for shaping the world in our own image. Nietzsche called this ‘perspectivism’ but I call it ‘human shortsightedness’. Human beings are the only animals that refuse to adapt to any given environment, but rather prefer to adapt environments to themselves. Perhaps this is why the world is such a mess, both politically and environmentally. I think these are also ideas, stemming from the title-concept, that are worth exploring at some point later on.

    However, instead of revealing all my ideas for the strip right away, I thought I’d let the strip speak for itself as I develop it. To be honest, I don’t know exactly where it’ll take me, but I think that’s a good thing because I like surprises. I hope you do too.