This summer is going by fast!!! Here I am again with the next instalment of Inspired by!
Riikka and I challenge each other each month to create something with a particular theme or thing in mind. This theme or thing can be anything and for this Inspired by Riikka suggested A Lifetime of Adventure by Tuomas Holopainen:
The song is part of the first solo album by Holopainen, who is also in the Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish. The album is called Music Inspired By The Life and Times of Scrooge.
Now… If you know me, you know I know very little about metal bands, symphonic or not. So I didn’t know who Tuomas Holopainen is. But although I’m quite a Disney fan, I also did not know about Don Rosa, the writer and illustrator of the graphic novel about Scrooge McDuck!
The series of books came out in the nineties and I guess I stopped paying attention to Donald Duck and his family members around 1992…
I found out one of the original graphic novels is available through my local library. I reserved it, but unfortunately it wasn’t available for me in time for this challenge. So… I had no other choice than to just stick with the song and with whatever images I could find on the internet.
The song has a fairy tale, wintery feel to it, which was weird because the weather was really sunny and hot whilst I worked on this Inspired by. The lyrics, as I understand them, are about an older person (or duck…) looking back on his/her life with all it’s trails and tribulations, about reliving memories and about counting your blessings.
The first sentences of the song go:
To be rich is
To still remember
To treasure your first dime
Now, if the internet is right… one of the stories told in the graphic novel is about how the world’s richest duck earned his first dime. And that made me think about my first job. I started to work at a local supermarket when I was 16/17 years old. I still remember being hired before I even knew what job they wanted me to do. It turned out they thought I might be of use at one of the cash registers. And I was!
I remember standing in the office and someone practising with me how to give back change. I also remember that at the very beginning I sometimes had to sell cigarettes and monitor the flower shop in a separate section of the supermarket and not liking it very much. I did like working at the cash register though and I stayed there until I left for college.
There is no photographic proof of me working there, but I do have some photos of that era. So I decided to just have some fun sketching and drawing and just tell a piece of the story. I started out with the graphic novel style boxes and went on from there…
Each of the steps took me forever: the Ecoline backgrounds, sketching and colouring the change and the shopping cart, deciding on what to do for the lettering… Even drawing a couple of boxes proofed to be less simple than you might think. And then in the process I realized there was no way I could write on this page. I had too much to say!
I decided to make it into a title page instead. I think I still have some memorabilia somewhere that I would like to include. I also found that once I reminisced, more stories came up. So I might either type everything and add a text page next to this one or I will put a pocket page protector next to it and add the stories one by one. I can’t find the memorabilia right now, so I will postpone my decision until I have all elements in one place. I might even find a better photo to go on the page: I adhered it with non permanent adhesive, just to be sure!
Conclusion: Even if the original inspiration piece threw me off a little bit, because of the Christmassy, wintery fairy tale feel… I really love the result! It is different than my usual stuff. My sketchings turned out way better than I had imagined beforehand. It was fun to play with Ecoline, acrylic ink, pencil, fine liners and markers. I even used some Studio Calico stamps that were still in the packaging!
I also love that I got to learn something new about Scrooge McDuck, Don Rosa and Tuomas Holopainen. I had no idea!