I was still in the process of drawing when my dad saw the picture and asked me: “Is this a vampire on the right?” – “Actually, yes.”
So, my dad is long past the stage to question my sanity. For him, if I feel like painting a vampire that’s what I have to do. He said, it’s good – what is as much of a compliment as you will ever hear from him – and left.
Yet, why Angel, the vampire?
It’s not because David Boreanaz, who incorporated Angel for several years, has apparently the ability to look like a slapped puppy as I read somewhere. I am more of a no-violence cat person. But admittedly, Boreanaz is hot. And that made it easier to fall for the series. Or any series he plays in (cough*Bones*cough).
It doesn’t explain yet, why I would start to draw him. Fanart usually doesn’t come in roughly 6 x 4 feet on canvas. Though I tried to add the feel of fanart to it given the role this picture is to play in the overall concept of the art series ‘Where do I go from here?’. So, here is one reason. Angel became part of my desert experience by providing me ideas to ponder.
a) Vampires – these creatures of the night symbolize the animalistic side of a human being. They are all about instincts: the instinct to survive, the instinct to feed, the instinct to reproduce (in the meaning of handing your apparently superior ways on), and the instinct to succeed. Their acts might be deemed cruel from the more sophisticated, human approach. But, that’s the core of life.
And so, this animal is in the core of any one of us. It roars powerful. It makes us greed, lash out, lie or stand by and look away. And we hope we can hide it in the darkness so that others don’t see. The animal, the shadow it is there.
b) Superimposed Soul – Angel is cursed with a soul. Cursed, because it gives him a conscience. The cruelty of his animalistic self weighs heavy on it. That sounds familiar too.
While we are kids we are still to establish our moral system. We pass from ignorance to black and white until we start to see the shades of grey in the world. But all things considered, kids are cruel. It is said that one sign of growing up is that we start to have things we regret. Our little animal has been cursed with a soul.
c) Choices – But did Angelus really morph into Angel by being cursed with the soul? According to the storyline for about a hundred years Angel(us) struggled and secluded himself from humankind. He couldn’t be Angelus anymore as any new act of cruelty only added to his own suffering. Yet, he couldn’t yet be Angel either. That wasn’t him.
It was when he slowly accepted what he’s been handed from life and that reality won’t change just because he willed it to change that he truly became Angel. Still, the animal never ceased to exist in him. He could feel its thirst, sense its rage and he struggled.
He wasn’t always successful in his fight and had to start over again. He was handed what seemed an easy way out. But, as he began to realize that the power of the animal kept the soul alive but life wasn’t worth living without the soul, he choose over and over again who he was:
“Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It’s harsh and cruel. But that’s why there is us: Champions. It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done or suffered or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.”