Friday, February 5, 2010

Something wonderful.....


High school was hellish for me and that's putting it mildly.

I didn't fit in and had only two friends my senior year. Lunch periods were spent in the library and I'd try to remain as invisible as possible in class. I became a loner who'd escape into the world of comic books for refuge.

During that dark time period when I was feeling like a strange outcast....afraid and suicidal, SHE came to save me.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman! Pencil on paper - 8" x 10" (NFS)

As a child I'd watch the Wonder Woman TV show in rerun form and eventually forgot about it. Then here in Chicago during my high school years, FX started rerunning the series again and it got me hooked just at the right time.

Here was this amazingly beautiful woman, who was not only powerful but courteous and nice! A fully-functional, capable, and confident superhero who tried to save the day and do what was right!

She inspired others and gave them hope! She was, well, a wonder! With a spin she became something more.....something wonderful! And her costume was F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S too!

Lynda Carter as Yeoman Diana Prince! Pencil on paper - 8" x 10" (NFS)

I was a junior in high school when I drew both of these portraits. They aren't exact likenesses but they're pretty damn good considering I was 17 at the time!

For these drawings I'd pause a specific scene from a Wonder Woman episode on my VCR (remember those!) and quickly sketch in front of the television. It'd take anywhere up to an hour to finish a drawing! The damage I must have done to those poor VCR heads!

Nonetheless, it was in high school when the dream of becoming a comic book illustrator was at its most hopeful. I was certain all the pain, sadness, and misery I was feeling up until then would be gone once I became an adult and finally became a success. Oh, how naive I was! Little did I know.....little did I know.

But the past is the past and I'm hoping to tap into that passion and excitement that I once had and turn it into, well, something wonderful.....

21 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

I truly adored wonder woman, I used to dream she came in the night and rescued me from my childhood with my father.......I could escape into the show, Linda carter was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen, and when she twirled, her hair came down and the flash and she was wonder woman my heart would skip a beat....your portraits are amazing;)

thanx for bringing back some good memories my friend

Randuwa said...

Fabulous, indeed, very stylized. And you can see just how far you've continued to develop. Go Dean Go!

Ren said...

Isn't it weird how school leaves such an indelible mark on our souls?

Love these drawings - what I find amazing is that you still have them, and still treasure them.

Tap into that passion and excitement - that youthful innocence is a great thing to try to recapture ...

DKSmall said...

Keep the desire going and good things will follow. You obviously have it in you still.

Dean Grey said...

Steven!

Perhaps she saved us both!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Randy!

I'm glad you like them!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ren!

Unfortunately my high school experiences still have an impact on me even as an adult.

Most of my artwork during high school was eaten by termites (true but long story!). I only have about 10 pieces left and these portraits are some of them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DKSmall!

Keeping the desire going is easier said than done, David!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I appreciate hearing from you four gentlemen!

-Dean

**WE BLOG ARTISTS** said...

Ha...I used to pause the VCR to sketch figures too...
You portray a very strong figure in your avatar...and the "knowing" in your posts of who you are...I feel badly that your days were spent not fitting in throughout high school...
Our eldest(5) is SO into comics...I got her some Astrix and superman comics from the Library the other day...she becomes a Zombi...like she's an Alien who doesn't hear or talk our language...no-one can communicate with her when she's transfixed by these books...it's awesome!
Have a great week...D!
Char

Marcos Vinicius Gomes said...

You are so skilful on your drawing...and I was - I mean, Iam - a Wonder Woman fan! Congratulations!

Dave said...

I thought you might find this interesting:

http://vector.tutsplus.com/articles/web-roundups/10-lessons-from-comic-book-illustration-legends/

Dean Grey said...

**WE BLOG ARTISTS**!

I get some of my comic book reading material from the library too, Char!

It's a great way for me to catch older stuff I might have missed the first time around.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marcos!

It's always nice to meet a fellow Wonder Woman fan!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dave!

I appreciate the link! I read it thoroughly!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to the three of you for chiming in!

-Dean

My Flow Chart said...

I think she was voted the most beautiful woman in the world when that show was on the air. Don't we all wish we could just spin into something else occasionally. Oh what fun that could be. What would you spin into?

Dean Grey said...

My Flow Chart!

I'd spin into someone powerful, capable, confident, loving, successful, and happy!

-Dean

tman said...

1st time I visited your blog, Dean. I don't know much about drawing except that it is one of the many talents that I don't have that I really wish I did... I tried at different times to draw like my sister (who really is talented), and found it very frustrating... Never had any real training; I kind of doubt that would have made me more than middling, so I headed in a different direction. I envy your talent. You obviously have the desire to capitalize on your talent- this is critical...I found my outlet to be in woodworking and home design and after 25 years pursuing this talent and making a living at it, I am still intrigued by new ideas and spend lots of time filtering/digesting new stuff and enjoy every minute of it! Bottom line- don't give up if it makes you tick... but, be prepared for setbacks and criticism; this is the path that all artists walk...One last thing. A good friend of mine is a "successful" artist who returned from a showing of his work in Rome at the American embassy recently... I asked him what it felt like to be recognized in such a way that he would have important people lusting after his work. His response startled me- "I feel like a prostitute" was the way he phrased it... he went on to explain that he didn't create the drawings for money, but was forced to sell them to people that many times only wanted them so that they had bragging rights with their friends! lol Hopefully your drawing gives you the satisfaction that you're looking for, even if you don't immediately benefit financially from it!! Well, I didn't intend to write a book here (lol) so I'll just close by saying keep at it and good luck!! tman

Dean Grey said...

tman!

What a revealing story about your artist friend! Creating for the sake of creating and creating to make a living are two very different animals. I can understand where he's coming from.

I appreciate you stopping by and your comment!

-Dean

Mark Adams said...

Dean - You'd spin into me? (except the powerful, confident, and successful part anyway and O.K maybe I'm only somewhat capable. {;-)> I think you are wrong about creating for yourself and creating to make a living being "two different animals." Twice I have been called out as an "art prostitute" - once by a colleague whose own work he considered "pure" because he did it to please himself (his art didn't appeal to a wide audience and he painted houses to support himself.) At that time I had a gallery that handled my theatrical paintings and I was selling everything I could produce. The flaw in his logic was that I was painting for me and people just happened to like my work. Jump ahead a few years and I get tagged again with "art whore" by my gallery owner for spending all my time painting portraits on the side instead of giving her all my creative production. I had no obligation to her for portrait work and I was not giving up 50% commission. My own work was in a state of flux and I had lost direction, so there was no paintings to give her. Portraiture can be a safety net for a realist painter who has lost his vision, so in that, perhaps she was correct because I wasn't pushing myself to do the next big thing, but I like painting portraits and I am good at it. Is that not being true to one's artistic self? See, tman isn't the only one who can write a book. lol.

Our lives are not dissimilar, although in my case, my constant companion and vehicle of escape was the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which hadn't yet been made into a major motion picture. I would escape to Middle Earth when things got dark. (try wearing a beret in high school in the 60's and see where it gets you.

I love the Cyclops H2O. Nice job!

Dean Grey said...

Mark!

Thank you for the wonderful novel....I mean comment! LOL

I'd be honored to spin into you. You are soooo talented!

I guess when it all comes down to it there has to be a balance, right? Creating for the sake of creating but managing to sell my work as well.

Thanks again!

-Dean

Mark Adams said...

It's nice when you can do both, but it doesn't always work out that way. I've had to paint portraits of some very unattractive people, or worse - their children - yuck. We do what we have to do to survive.

Dean Grey said...

Mark!

I'm laughing at the "yuck" in your latest comment!

-Dean

Mind Of Mine said...

Dean -

I have been reading through some of your past entries and this one resonated with me the most.

My highschool lunch periods were usually spent trying to avoid the other students and in the way you took solace in your love for Wonder Woman, i took mine in an obsession with all things Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a couple of comments for me.

Ian

Dean Grey said...

Mind of Mine!

Buffy is pretty darn cool too....just not as cool as Wonder Woman of course! ^_^

Sorry to hear high school was challenging for you too. Funny how comic book/TV characters became our support during those hard times.

Thanks for checking out my comic book blog, Ian! Hopefully you'll get a chance to check out the main one, "Exploding Doughnut" as well.

-Dean

Barry Allan Scott said...

I had such a crush on wonderwoman.

I still have a thing for confident, dark haired leggy girls!

Dean Grey said...

Barry!

I had less of a crush on Wonder Woman and more-or-less wanted to be her!

But yeah, Lynda Carter is GORGEOUS!!

-Dean