To be an Eleven Year Old Artist Again

Finished October 2019. Made using Paint Tool Sai.

Yorkie and Bolton are characters that I initially created in 2010 (when i was eleven years old). Yorkie was sort of the embodiment of what I found cool, she was like the ideal version of myself. Meanwhile Bolton was sort of the ideal partner for myself.

It was all very self-indulgent, and I drew them often for about two years. At thirteen, I had enough going on in my own life that I was able to start living my life through myself, as opposed to living my life through characters that I made up.

Cut to: 2019. I was going through some stuff. As much as I speak to stepping away from them as a positive, nobody has an easy time being a teenager, and for me that meant becoming very detatched from my feelings. I was struggling with vulnerability around others, and I envied the vulnerability that I was able to have "so easily" when I was 11.

At this time I was also listening to the album Infinite Summer by Winter. The song Always Teenager really spoke to me. The lyrics as I interpret them speak to rebelling against bad friends, and being whatever you really want to be without judgement from those bad friends, and that spoke to me for obvious reasons.

When I would listen to it I would imagine vibrantly colored nostalgic suburban space. Telephone poles, and those beautiful sunset fluffly clouds you see sometime when you come out of the supermarket. And that brought me back to thinking about your Bolton and Yorkie!

I started sketching things in Crayola Markers while I listened to the song on repeat (see sketches to the right) and one of them I included Bolton in.
I explicitly made her older than she was initially. I also drew her as a girl (I didn't initially), which made me start to think about what they would be like as if they grew up in the time I hadn't thought of them.

When I had made them in 2010, they were supposed to be 14-years-old, which meant obviously in 2019 they'd be 23.

I thought about how as everyone does, they must've gone through a lot of growing up. Using that as a jumping off point, I started thinking of a story for them (which was something I never did as an 11-year-old. I had only planned the very basic things, such as "this is what they look like", and "this is what their name is") through that I ended up creating this piece.

Not to remove the curtain too far, but obviously the text here is speaking to these ideas. "In a way she was me, who i wanted me to be" (speaking to how Yorkie was an ideal version of myself). "And I had no shame in such an obvious ideal" (having this very mushy gushy romance).

After making this piece, Bolton and Yorkie have become my primary creative interest. I have this piece to thank for me getting back into them. They've grown more than I expected, and this piece was the beginning of a new era for me so I have a lot to thank it for.

an art piece i did of my two original characters. they're both girls and they're kissing and holding each other's faces lovingly. behind them is a sunset with multicolored clouds, and birds flying above the horizon.  there's text panels saying

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