The Story I Want to Tell
My friend sent me a link to one of Chris Oatley’s conversations that really hit home for me, on the topic of ‘greatness in art.’ Take a listen to his answer to this question someone submitted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv7a-VlpXQ0&feature=youtu.be&t=39m24s
Greatness is about connecting with your audience and community.
I couldn’t sum up my art goals better than that. I thrive off of community and building a world with someone through RP or drawing with them.
But nothing is more fulfilling to me than when I can get someone to have a change of mind about a character they originally hated at first.
It’s why I write and do what I do. To present them with this “omg nazi D8” and then show them things they can relate to through him. To the point where they go “oh my gosh, I’m relating to a nazi,” and realize that no matter what label you slap on a person, they’re a person just like you, with reasons and motivations, with challenges that put them in the position to make a right or wrong decision, and maybe they don’t make the same CHOICE you would make, but you’re put in a position to sympathize with them having to make that choice. That moment, where you follow their lives and you see what they’ve been through, so at the point where they’re confronted with a difficult choice, regardless of what you would do, you can see why THEY chose to do what they did.
My characters make good choices and bad ones, and what I most hope to teach people is that there’s no such thing as “good people” and “bad people,” just people who make choices. Your actions and decisions can have alignments, but not the individual. And that the way someone is raised, the environment they’re in, the choices they’ve made in the past and the consequences of those choices, are what decide their future actions, and that’s how you get what looks like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ people.
People always ask me why I write from the Axis’ POV, and that’s why. Because we vilify ‘the enemy.’ I’m not belittling or ignoring the war-crimes of the German army in WWII, but I am against lumping ‘the enemy’ into one generalized whole. In my cast, I try to portray as many angles as I can, with my German characters coming from all different backgrounds, who make all different choices. I have war-criminals, resistance members, average citizens, disillusioned youth, converts and more, because I want to portray this era in all 360 degrees.
That’s the story I have to tell, and whether it’s through Nazi Germany, or a 1950’s greaser gang, or any setting, genre or era, I will always try to portray people as individuals, and challenge the idea of black & white labels.
Agree, disagree? Feel free to send me an ASK to discuss it!
To Było Tak!
Check out my new website, To Było Tak which is Polish for “so the story goes.” It’s the collective roleplay works between myself and my cowriter, Renna as well as comics and art! The series revolves around a Polish girl named Marszenka Jabłońska and a cast of supporting characters set in WWII. Each story follows it’s own alternate-universe in which the character roles and settings differ. If you like it, please reblog this post to share the word!