Life Chasing the White Rabbit

Ok…So, critique in the creative world can be a great way to get you on track, motivate you or help you see things in your work that you don’t see. After this past critique, folks really were bothered by the fact that a few of my characters in “onesies” too closely Max (is that his name?) from Where the Wild Things Are. I have never seen the movie and I have not read the book recently enough for the artwork there to influence me–in fact that last time I even thought about that story was when it was read to me sometime in early elementary school. This isn’t the first time someone has brought this up, but being that I can be a stubborn person, I quickly mentally ruled it out, believing that, if folks would pay attention to the messages that my work carries, they would forget about Where the Wild Things Are and step into the world my characters inhabit. No, not so. I must admit that this has caused me a bit of frustration; at times, I feel that my work is not always taken as seriously as it should be simply because I don’t feature dark brooding characters that invoke the (at times) heavy things I reference or talk about. It’s quite possible that the folks critiquing my work are simply the wrong audience. I don’t aim to please other artists because it is near impossible to please them amd I don’t believe in the elitist attitude that the general public is too ignorant to know what is “fine” or good art and what is not.

However, this time, I took everyone’s comments to heart. I am now going through and changing a few of my characters. I already put Alyce through a dramatic change seen here:

Of the queen's court

Before: Old Version of Alyce where she looked more adult and displayed a heavy anime/manga influence.

After: Alyce more childlike and gained features that made her look distinctively African American along with other specific features.

The White Rabbit, was next in line to be changed. In this first new version, it took the opposite route of Alyce becoming a darker figure. Previously, it was commonly shown as an androgynous child but turned into a faceless entity seen here:

Old version of the White Rabbit

White Rabbit, a darker more foreboding figure, but still androgynous

However, I believe that The White Rabbit now has become too different from the rest of the cast. I am considering making it more childlike with that mask, but the idea of Time (which The Rabbit stands for) as this tall, silent, faceless figure who towers over anyone it approaches is great. Time would do just that; it would make you aware of it’s constant but silent presence… Still, I will keep working on the idea…

However, something to remember is that The White Rabbit is not a hostile entity. It’s job is only to keep track of what happens chronologically in life. It makes sure that time keeps going forward. Nobody can see it or is even aware of its presence. Occasionally, it will do benevolent things for the grieved or sick. It takes a liking to Alyce, acting as a gentle reminder to keep going on when Alyce gets knocked unconscious and  (believing it is a dream) sees it standing beside her.

However, while The White Rabbit is harmless character, it has a darker acquaintance: Death. As of now, Death, The White Rabbit’s uncle with whom he is on uneasy terms, is not written into the story nor is it even mentioned, but as a time keeper, the White Rabbit notifies Death when any living thing’s time has run out.

However, unlike its parents Father Time and Mother Nature, The White Rabbit is not an unfeeling entity that does its job without compassion for the creatures it affects. This job does take its toll on the poor Rabbit. From outside of the time stream, it sees how time affects those within the stream and feels for them. It has watched many things come and go, yet it is still so difficult to see things come to an end…

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