Bare Bones

I started a new art doll today. It's an interesting one, born from my failure to properly scale patterns to sculpted faces, but the upshot was I had an extra flerken face with no desire to make another, smaller, flerken. So now there will soon exist a dragon-cat with a tentacle mouth, because why not?

armature for an art doll
Inside every dragon-kitty is a tentacle-beast trying to escape.

I do love the armature phase though. It's the bones of a creature, the first part you have to get right for the whole thing to hang together. It's the time to decide on proportions, number of limbs, appendage attachments (I always forget at least one of those. Always.) For me at least, it's the moment where I can see the finished creature in my mind's eye, but haven't had time to mess it up yet. It's magical, even if the vacant, staring, fur-less face connected to a wire frame seems like something out of nightmares.

But the important thing is that I haven't messed up yet. In the armature phase there's no problem I can't fix, no challenge that can't be overcome. It holds the promise of perfection, but in the end it's just a hollow promise. Nothing ever turns out perfect, I will forget something, I will have problems that threaten to send the whole thing to the trash bin. Paint or glue or a sewing needle will end up somewhere it shouldn't have, and some days the best thing to do is just walk away.

All of which means that sometimes, it's very hard to make myself move past the armature. Commitment is hard. Knowing that despite your best efforts the finished product won't match what's in your head, but deciding to move forward anyway is hard. Sinking hours and days into a project that ends up being hardly salvageable is hard. But what is the alternative? To not create? That, dear friends, is not living.

Art is a messy thing, a courageous thing. Onward. Once more to the breach, dear friends, once more. Let's put some flesh on those bones.

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