So I awoke to a message on Twitter this morning that gave me pause to think about some things and I sense a little stirring in this awesome community that we’ve built together that I’d like to put in pin in before anyone is misunderstood or feels excluded. Even with Twitter’s longer character limits I feel it’s not the medium to best express this.
I’ve always maintained that this project that I’m doing and that you’re all a part of is for want of a better term a safe place. I’ve had the wonderful good fortune to encounter so many people of different backgrounds that it truly is the essence of what makes Star Trek great. When someone looks at one of my silly little scribbles I literally have no idea what they may get out of it. I draw a scene or a character because I might see something visually in it that appeals to me on whatever level or a character may be particularly inspiring to me and I’m trying to capture something of them in it.
I don’t always convey this well because I’m often under the pump and don’t have the time or energy to go through the whole process, even on Patreon there are days where they get big thoughts and there are days where I tell them to talk amongst themselves (I actually have done this, I feel like a bad host LOL). But none of that actually matters because what gives me the greatest joy in the world is the emotional responses that you have. I’ve been told a drawing that I’ve done because I liked the camera angle completely represents everything that inspires them and is important to them about Star Trek. And I’m always humbled and moved by these conversations.
So the tweet that I got this morning which I hope Karen will forgive me for republishing was:
Now my initial reaction was to be a little hurt and very defensive, I’m going to be straight up honest and open about this because it’s an important subject and deserves no less. I spent a good hour discussing it with my wife and working out how best to respond before doing so. I kind of really wanted to defend myself and there are definitely reasons why men are more represented in the Star Trek 365 that I’m NOT going to discuss here (or anywhere really). Reasons are not excuses.
I’ve since had some really good people come to my defence and their hearts are in the right place and I love them dearly for feeling the urge to comment.
But here’s the thing, all Karen has asked for is more representation of women.
She didn’t have a crack at me about lack of noses (it happens more than you might imagine) or lack of command pips or a million other little quirks that I draw because that’s how I draw. She just wants to see more women characters.
I want to be the kind of artist that uses their work to do good, and from a personal point of view that IS positive representation of women, it’s not objectifying or over sexualising characters and it is 100% about including everyone.
So a huge thank you to Karen who took the time to work out some facts before raising it with me and to everyone who is excited to see more female focused character pieces. And equally thank you to those of you concerned about my artistic rights, that’s fucking awesome, you guys rock and I know none of you are misogynists and I agree 100% that artists should be allowed to do their work freely. But I want to be an even better artist and I think what’s been highlighted will do that, so “stand down everyone”.
LOL now today’s piece is a Saavik illustration, it always was going to be a Saavik illustration and I’m not changing my plan for the day.