Truth has a strange way to reveal itself. I've submitted this work - let's title it "Abduction in the Karoo" - for the Protea Book House’s Picture this! Children’s Book Illustration Competition in 2018.
I had a couple of days to submit an entry after the deadline was extended (which translates to a couple of hours working from home - with two small children). So, in a rush, I came up with the simplest idea and executed it in a few hours. And, now that I look at it for the first time since submission, I ask myself: what does this scene say about me?
First of all: yes, I spent some formative years in the Karoo (South Africa) and my parents still live there. I know the landscape well. But, looking at the characters in the scene, do I relate mostly to the character of the alien? Being artistically inclined in a mostly left-brained society and the whole melodramatic story that goes with that. Or do I relate to the sheep? Swooped away to a strange new place by a wonderfully colourful being. Being a South African abroad ticks that box to some extent.
I am probably the cat, though. Watching. Waiting. Learning. Processing everything and still deciding how to respond - if ever.