Most readers of young adult or children’s manga will know about the quirk writers have of portraying themselves as anthropomorphic figures or even figures barely or not even human at all. Osamu Tezuka drew himself caricatured and Hiromu Arakawa (of Fullmetal Alchemist fame) draws herself as a cow. I used to entertain the idea in my head that, if I were a manga artist, my gimmick would be that I was some poor sap stuck inside of an elevator who started drawing that manga for entertainment. A pic of my silhouette in a dark and abandoned elevator being miserable and comedic.
Lately, though, I began thinking about what a strange oxy moron that is. A trapped imagination.
If I were stuck in a dark elevator with nothing to watch, look at, or admire I would probably have a hard time imagining things. First I’d imagine to distract myself. I’d draw from my inspirations in the past. But soon, without new inspirations or even anything at all to read, listen to, or look at, I’d run dry. My imagination would start rationing ideas, recycling old thoughts, and stretch itself too far.
As a writer, I do not underestimate the importance of imagination. Not only does it sustain creativity, but it sustains a flowing thought process that we use for everyday life. The imagination must be given new material all of the time from experiences, books, and sensation. Inside of an elevator, I would see the same thing every day, feel the same things and do the same things probably as well.
Then I realized: I work in a factory. It is monotonous work. I see and smell the same thing every day. I speak to the same people every day and perform the same work. When I lose my job I feel fresher, more free, and I can think easier. When I work, after a week or so I start having a narrower, more restricted way of thinking. I feel like my imagination is in need of oiling. Factory work kills my imagination.
But we all need money. So now I am facing off against one of the biggest writer’s block/dry spells I’ve ever experienced. Will I manage to save my imagination? Will I survive adulthood?
Will I fight back against the elevator I’m trapped in?