The Red Case - continued
'The Shooting of Hector Littleton'
Well, laid up in bed with a chest infection, coughing my lungs up, wasn't how I'd envisaged the start to my New Year. I'd wanted to start all guns a'blazing, but the Universe had other ideas.
Poor vain Hector,
I love New Year. It is, without a doubt, my favourite of all the holidays and birthdays put together. I love all the possibilities and opportunities a new start begins. There's nothing I like better than a new chapter or even a brand new (sketch) book.
his untimely death...
But lying here, gives me some time for reflection - which is yet another good thing about a New Year.
...meant he had no time to enjoy his ill-gotten inheritance.
2015 saw so many changes for me. Big changes. And one of those big changes, perhaps the biggest, was that I gave up my job to become a full time illustrator.
Somebody wanted that case and would go to any lengths to get it off him.
This was not a decision I took lightly. I'd battled with it for years. And years. Making every excuse in the book not to do it. But I'd just got so bored of hearing myself talk about it.
On a train station on the other side of town a brief encounter was about to happen
Then, on New Year's Day last year, I just woke up and I took the leap. I made the decision. I wasn't going back to work. Job done.
But would she turn up?
(Drawing by Lynne McPeake)
I was now a full time illustrator. Yay!!!! Argh!! Shit! YAY!!!
He waited. And waited.
(Drawing by me)
I had no back up plan, hell, I had no plan. And, I had no money behind me, I had nothing. Not a bean to my name. All I had was this faith that somehow it would work out and this overwhelming belief that it was the right thing to do.
Then she came
And sometimes that's the best place to start. There's something quite beautiful about being in that place.
But had she brought what he wanted?
But it hasn't been easy. Far from it.
But when is anything? Anything that means anything?
There was no sign of the red case
(Drawing by me)
I was prepared for that.
And I was prepared to be poor. I'd been practicing at that for quite a while.
They moved into the café
But even though the stress about having no money continued (and still continues) everything else became better. Since making that decision everything improved. Finally I was doing what I wanted to do. What I was meant to be doing.
They'd go unnoticed there
(Drawing by Karrie Brown)
And, it's required me to be more, much more, creative. Not just as an artist, but how I live my life. I have to be creative in the way I spend my money and in how I make my money. And the latter has been a revelation.
He had the money but did she have the red case?
It was no longer feasible to just draw, and to hope that I might get some sales or commissions. I had to look at other things - things I'd learnt and how I could utilise them to bring in an income.
She came up with the goods
(Drawing by me)
I started using my creativity in ways I'd never have dreamt of. Bringing all of the things I'd learnt, all the things I was skilled at, and was good at, together. With some extraordinary results.
And there it was
My favourite of which has to be this crazy idea I had for a series of alternative, costumed, life-drawing sessions, which had a narrative (that I'd written - in my head) running through them...
The red case inside the green case
...passed on from model to model by via a little red case, and that included a lot of people getting shot or hit over the head with candlesticks and Prime Minsters getting involved with showgirls and...and...well, yeah, oh....
And whilst all of this was going on
(Drawing by Kate Yorke)
...and not to mention spies falling in love with each other.
This pair were falling in love
I mean, who could have predicted all of that?
But can two spies truly fall in love?
(Drawing by me)
So you see, the craziest things can happen in just a year...
How could they ever truly trust each other?
(Photo by Rod Walton)
...when you take the leap of faith.
And 2016? Well, I intend to make even more crazy things happen. Lots more.
Oh, and it would be nice to make a bob (buck) or two along the way too. That's the aim.
And then there was Edna
I must say a HUGE thanks to all of the sketchers and amazing models who have made this project an absolute joy and one of my proudest achievements.
I CANNOT wait for the new series set in a swanky New York apartment block in the 1970s to start in Feb. Let your creativity have no limits and it'll take you to amazing places too!
Hector Littleton played by Mike Cross
Michael Mann played by Christopher Freeman
Eliza Day played by Kayleigh Amos
Edna played by Kristina Parkin