My art production has dropped to shockingly low levels this month due to my free time being consumed by various outdoor home improvement/beautification projects. This included an epic planting of pachysandra (literally hundreds of little plants) and rebuilding a retaining wall. While I could blog about each of these projects, I won’t bore you with my HGTV-esque stylings. Instead, I’ll bore you with some old preteen Owen drawings!

Ok, these are in what I believe to be chronological order with the first one likely around 1987 and the final one dated 1988, which would put my age between 10 and 11 when these were done. My dad had most of these up in his office for years, which is why they were preserved and not scrapped like most of my old drawings.

First off, this must have been a school assignment for “American Symbols” in which I chose a “Union Solider”. Seemingly an odd choice, but growing up in a house full of reenacting gear (a further elaborated here) it does make sense:

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Beware the be-glassed jumping battlefield turtle!

I’m guessing I got that turtle from the Tootsie Pop ad from back in the day?

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This next one is truly a strange caricature of Uncle Sam riding his machine-gun-fitted surfboard to victory as a US jet trails him flying an American flag. Just take all that in. What makes this special is the little touches, Sam is clearly concerned about the damaging effects of UV rays and so he rides his board with a bottle of sunscreen and an extra visor attached to his star-spangled top hat. Growing up as a fare skinned child in Florida, I was reminded constantly to stay out of the sun or wear loads of sunscreen so it’s only natural this made its way into my early artwork. I also like how the board is fitted with a rocket and appears to be randomly firing off in the distance, that’s the American way!

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Taste American surf justice you Commie scum!

This last one is perhaps the first drawing of Sir Ferris and The Dragon, a concept that would go on to become a short children's book a few years later. I’m pretty sure I stole the overall tone of this drawing from Don Quixote, which I recall seeing in play format on a school field trip as a kid.

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That dragon looks suspiciously like Dino from The Flintstones?

So there you have it, three of my pre-teen drawings, all of which have suspiciously similar compositions. This is interesting from an art development standpoint because clearly I wasn’t doing too much foreshortening or even front views of characters at this point in time. By 1990 I was doing much more as evidenced by the aforementioned Sir Ferris book and my comic strips. Nice work young me!

To answer the question you must be asking yourself by now, yes I’ve created a whole blog post by just recycling some old artwork. Don’t worry, there is plenty more where that came from - I haven’t even gotten into the dark/brooding teenage period yet ;-)