Today’s drawing was the most difficult for me of all the Inktober prompts — for several different reasons. I had a good idea in my head, but while I could visualize what I wanted to create, I couldn’t bring that vision to life. What you see below was my fifth attempt at creating a “junkyard dog” sort of monster.
My first sorry attempt looked like some sort of weird cat. Next I tried making a more wolf-like dog. Sad to say, I still can’t draw a wolf. Next I tried a cartoonish dog by following a “how to draw a dog” tutorial. After a few tries I came up with Monsterus guardus caninus, who doesn’t look all that fearsome or frightening.
And here’s where the prompt became even more difficult. The dog I drew is definitely friendly, and my heart goes out to him. Why? Because he belongs to Exploding Brain Boy, who loves him, but Cruel Stepfather feels that a dog is worthless if it isn’t mean and threatening.
“If he can’t guard the damned house, what good is he?” Cruel Stepfather often says. He doesn’t treat the dog any better than he treats his stepson. He insists on keeping the dog chained as he attempts to train the dog to become vicious. He’s even named the dog Killer.
I want to believe that one night while Cruel Stepfather is sleeping Exploding Brain Boy will slip outside and unchain the dog. I hope, too, that the dog runs far, far away.
Oh, the educational facts! I must not forget those. Did you know…?
- There are estimated to be around 400 million dogs in the world.
- Dogs are able to digest a variety of foods, including vegetables and grains.
- Dogs can distinguish odors at concentrations nearly 100 million times lower than humans can.
- A dog’s hearing range covers frequencies from approximately 40 hertz to 60,000 hertz.
But back to Killer, the reluctant guard dog. Have you ever drawn something and later wished you hadn’t? Have you ever created a work of art that — in some way — disturbs you? Maybe this sounds foolish to say, but drawing this friendly pooch and putting him into a dysfunctional family has been a difficult experience. Several times I’ve thought about ripping up the drawing and forgetting that I ever drew this dog.
Art is visual, yet it still has a narrative. Even simple drawings can tell a story, and the story of Killer has messages within that I’m still trying to figure out. It’s obviously about personal identity and also about the expectations others put upon us. I sense a lot more in this little drawing, as well.
Creating Killer has been a very emotional experience for me. I don’t understand all it means, but I know there’s a message there. I hope someday I do understand.