This little guy is a lemur. I drew him for a class I took in college, experimenting with pen and ink, exploring textures and techniques.
He wasn’t well-received. Actually, that’s not wholly accurate. According to my instructor, the lemur wasn’t problematic; the tree was. He really disliked my approach in regard to that tree, the way I rendered the thing, flat like that, no detail. He wanted me to go back in there and make it “real.” He wanted to see bark and knots and such.
I disagreed. I wanted the tree to be an abstraction. Simple. A dichotomy of rich texture against stark black. I wasn’t going for realism as much as visual interest. Plus, look at those little hands clutching that branch. You’d lose the exquisiteness of those little fingers if the branch was similarly detailed.
Suffice to say, I followed my gut. Didn’t change a thing.
I don’t recall the grade I received. Whatever it was, it didn’t matter. The point is, I had my reasons for doing things my way. I was confident that my choices were the right ones. I went against the grain and took a risk, followed my gut.
Which brings me to CHERRY. It’s the same kind of deal. I’ve taken chances with that novel, included some things that may not go down too well with some folks. It’s gritty, doesn’t pull punches. I took chances with content and format. Parts of CHERRY may be offensive, probably are. I’m already seeing the fall-out of all of that: finding an agent/publisher is proving difficult, and I may lose some potential readers eventually but the truth is, it doesn’t matter. I truly believe CHERRY is as it should be. As it needs to be. I followed my gut and took risks.
It is what it is and I’m okay with that.
Of course, I’m hoping others will understand my reasoning and appreciate CHERRY for what it is.
Such that it is.
I guess we’ll see.