Here’s a very recent doodle. I seem to be drawing a lot of fantasy towns lately, I think it’s all part of the way my mind works with escapism.
Strange to say, much as I love the natural world my imagination tends to be most energized when I’m in a crowded, urban city environment. I love the country, exploring forests and craggy landscapes, but if I spend too long away from the city my imagination is dulled. My mind perhaps feeds off the surroundings but rarely goes beyond, I become relaxed and inspired by oneness with nature, but that’s as far as it goes.
In the city however I’m always mentally escaping, my imagination is constantly finding ways to soar beyond the concrete or seeking escapism within it. It’s that switching-off from reality, a yearning to escape the shackles of the town that really motivates my fantasy vision.
It’s a paradox that although my art is closely connected to the natural world I need the city for my creative vision to soar. In essence I need both – no trees: no vision, but no city: no escapism. The more concrete, the more inhuman the environment, the more I seek humanity in my art. Many of the greatest fantasy artists are often from very urban backgrounds, it can be said that city dwellers really appreciate the fantastic properties of the natural world because they yearned for these things when they grew up. Fantasy for them is a magical release from the humdrum.