Free to imagine

I wanted to get back into drawing real people. I could exchange snatches of newspapers and conversations for whistle stop sightings. So I drew in stations and at hospital waiting rooms. When I drew the groups of people who stood, and waited, and moved on, at London Bridge Station, out of the scribbles came a sentry from a secondary world.

I had begun some drawings of ballet dancers, and sought a partner for the ballerina, who leaps across the etching plate. I looked through the Nutcracker images, and there was my station sentry, wooden, shining, fighting the Mouse King.

Writers speak of their characters insisting on being written. Cartoon people and animals emerge uninvited from gallery drawings. They have ease of access on these pages of copies, as time passes. All art needs time to emerge. Like plants, it finds its own pace, given the essentials.

Children are said by some to have a heightened susceptibility to magic, and able to see fairies. Maybe fairy tale characters were always something of the unseen world, and only permitted to exist in the human imagination, once adults lost their second sight. They could re-enter the world in animated form.

Our consumerist society has taken down the walls of all secret gardens, where children had a right to be. It seems their innocence is assailed on all sides, and they are now groomed to abuse and be abused from an early age. A society that allows this in the name of liberty, or licence, or whatever lie it wants to use, is lost. Children need the freedom to imagine. Cartoons need the freedom to walk across the page.