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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ruffles

Mr Thingy makes a new friend

Last week I mentioned the unpredictability of monsters - this week, Mr Thingy surprised everyone by going on a wee adventure. I'd been chatting about monsters with a friend online, not the boys in particular, but more general dealings with the noisy lot in the room next door. I've got something new in the vicinity that keeps jumping up and down trying to get my attention but until I have half an idea what it is, am not leaving the door open unless am stood on the other side of it with the psychic equivalent of a large frying pan.

Anyway, as sometimes happens when thoughts have turned to the place where the walls are thin, ears went up including those belonging to our beloved swamphorseaeopteryx (a term coined by another friend and it was so perfect it stuck lol). It appears that Mr Thingy got curious about who I was talking with and followed the trail back to her place. Fortunately for all concerned, said friend is also quite used to critters of all kinds wandering about and understood that he had simply just wandered over for a nosy. Apparently, asides from being obviously inquisitive, she was struck by how very gentle he is. Presumably he wasn't overly alarmed by her either as I did not get woken up by a monster meltdown in the wee small hours.

The bare bones - some of Mr Thingy's prep work. Looking at how he's put together is helping me figure out some other things about him, his habits etc. When not visiting strange women he's met on the internet lol.

For those not overly familiar with him, he's a big old boy - I've only caught a glimpse of him once in person as it were and he gave me quite a shock, his head alone filled the bottom of the stairwell. When I'd remembered how to breathe, that did rather beg the question of where the hell the rest of him was but monsters rarely come with sensible explanations and the best thing is generally just to get on with whatever you were doing.

If you're wondering how I go about drawing something I can't see, the best and possibly least satisfying explanation is that I just know. I see them in my head, I get a sense of how they are moving through the world, what they are experiencing and that tells me a lot. I can also tell when I'm off track because it simply doesn't work. It generally starts with a glimpse here or there and gradually, sometimes over a period of years, I get enough to put the whole thing together. Once I start, there normally comes a point where I can feel I have it, can reach out myself the other way and things start to come together of their own accord.

Most seem to be a fleeting presence, just passing by but there are few who have stuck around and that I have regular contact with. In the case of Stephen and Mr Thingy, they also interact with each other which is generally hilarious. I've yet to do Mr Thingy's 'proper' drawing, that's a job for this autumn and one I am greatly looking forward to. I have learned a lot about him in the meantime, such as his surprisingly kitsch taste in music. As often happens, he first turned up because something I was playing appealed to him - Thaeter, the intro track on Manson's Golden Age of Grotesque. It's only a minute and a bit but definitely snagged something, so I played it again...and again. If you listen to it, there is something about the rhythm that works for a ponderous, giant, two legged creature. As it turns out, anything with that sort of beat does it, pace is largely optional so long as it's not too fast and I have therefore ended up listening to more glam rock that I ever imagined possible.

I'll bring you more of his adventures in future posts - if you'd like to follow in his footsteps, I recommend putting on something like Spirit in the Sky (sixties original or later cover, either works) and sway on over to our new mutual friends' website to have a look for yourself - Mara Acoma does some beautiful photographic art. Also, Mr Thingy says she's really nice.

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