Sunday, November 14, 2010

Now and then

I've had some good conversations about nostalgia.

In my opinion, nostalgia is a great thing. It's a longing for something from the past. I've talked with people who hate it, like it's a bad memory from their past. I always wondered, "What's so wrong about processing your past in the present?"

When I was a kid, I used to be absolutely obsessed with Transformers. They were these amazing things that were way cooler than Hot Wheels, they weren't soldiers killing real people like G.I. Joe and technology was really appealing to me. My older brothers, had some Transformers, but it was mainly this thing that was already in the past me by the time I knew that I loved them. I would search at garage sales and always hope that I would find one. When I broke my arm when I was 4, I wasn't allowed to play soccer that summer, so all I did was draw and draw and draw. 

While cleaning out my parent's basement, I found stacks of old drawings. This inspired me to reflect upon my current ideas and wonder why they were so appealing. So I made a few drawings to process that:

As a kid, I loved the stories that surrounded these characters. I was so interested in their imaginary world, that I would draw the characters in all kinds of imaginary places. I was interested in the idea of them.

When I grew older, I become more fascinated in the connection between the imaginary world and the real product that was being sold. When it comes down to it, it's a product. I love how different the final product was from the characters that would show up on the TV and in comics. I love how blocky and non function the toys are, especially compared to my ideas of them when I was a kid. 

I made tons of these drawings as a kid:

When I found these old drawings in the basement of my folks place, I had some moments of nostalgia. I wondered what it was that I found so interesting and inspiring about these toys and characters. 

Sometimes, it feels like it was the amazing illustrations that went along with them that could take a child and sculpt a whole different world in their minds.

Sometimes, it felt like it was the individual characters that had an amazing writer named, Bob Budianksy, who took something as foreign as transforming vehicles and robots and turned them into characters that were relatable and unique. 

It might have been the way that these characters transcended different kinds of media, like cartoons, comics, books, illustrations, cards and toys.

It might have been the sheer volume of how many different characters were created.

It might have been the reflections from ancient myths that existed in their creation.

Even may have even been as simple as their inspiring design.

What I really think it is, is reflected in this drawing made when I was no older than 3. Maybe even 2. It's favorite drawing that I've ever made. I can't think of a way to reduce this any further to convey that this is a Transformer who reflects the image of man. 

To me, this is what nostalgia is all about. I was super inspired by these toys and characters and I'm grateful for all of the people who put their heart and souls into creating them. I whole heartedly accept this nostalgia.

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