I’ve spoken here about the creative impulse before, but this time I’m going to make it a little more personal and discuss what I do when I’m not writing (or working on other stuff, or watching movies, or reading books or taking care of children), mainly because I realized that I also try to create stuff when I’m in downtime mode.
Now, one hobby I’ve got is building scale models, but that one seems a little like cheating. While it takes a little practice to get them looking decent, the real skill (at least in the case of the ones I build) is on the part of the model builder. Even on mass-produced plastic kits, at some point a prototype maker did the work of carving and engineering it so it would fit together and look correct. I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of talent that takes.
My own contribution to the arts is my other hobby: drawing stuff (admittedly, mostly cars) with colored pencils. These are amateur efforts, but I like the results and occasionally sell an original for a few hundred dollars to auto enthusiasts (it takes a couple of months of highly interrupted work to draw these, so I’m not exactly getting rich). As an example, here’s my latest effort.
As you can tell, my obsession with Le Mans extends to drawing… this is a Ford Mustand leading an Alpine at Le Mans in 1967, just before dusk.
Unlike my fiction, which is my primary creative output, these will likely never compete on the world level or win prestigious awards. But they give me enormous amounts of pleasure, both to create and to look at afterward. The delight is well out of proportion to the actual quality of the drawings, but it’s totally worth it to me.
In fact, I like them so much that I have put some of the drawings on products in a Zazzle store, which I’ve discussed here before. And if you’re interested in looking at the full collection of cars, they’re in this online gallery.
Anyway, I thought I’d share… and I’d love to hear about your own alternative pursuits.
Gustavo Bondoni is a novelist and short story writer whose latest novel is entitled Test Site Horror. It’s fast-paces and unrelenting… like the monsters inside. You can check it out here.