I had a great deal of fun drawing this piece. While I enjoyed the entire project in one way or another, these earlier pieces were the lightest and most whimsical and bring back the happiest memories.
Some of your pieces feel like they're speaking directly to me (which of course they can't be, but then that is the great thing about art). This one in particular (for me) is the story of how my creative conscious (or unconscious!) works. I am a creative person - I teach English and I am passionate about art - and my best ideas come in the moment just before sleep hits me. The figure in this drawing (to me) is clearly not in deep sleep yet, and is enjoying the brief moments where ordinary ideas seem extraordinary; when brilliance happens. Haha, that doesn't sound very modest, does it?! Of course, I'm now going to have to check out the context of the sentence your image was based on. Brilliant work though, Matt. I really enjoy it!
Actually Sam I quite like what you wrote about the feeling that they are speaking directly to you. Once I've created something and made it public, I lose all control over it. Viewers will see what they want, and take away what they want from each piece, and that fascinates me. There have been times when I was deeply puzzled by what someone saw in an illustration I made, but rather than be offended or upset I have always been thrilled and even more curious about that all.Also, I think I know exactly what you mean about the way that ideas seem to come unbidden once the mind is slowly unmooring itself from the tethers of the day. Often this does come right before slumber. I try to cultivate that kind of looseness and freedom of thought at all times, with varying success. Throughout years of making art, and especially the 18 months of this project, I have learned to let my subconscious intuition guide me a great deal, and it has always worked out perfectly.
Matt, I am just now stumbling on to your site. Amazing work. This one in particular does seem to carry me somewhere (although I could not say where). Perhaps it is simply the connection with the image and the title (I recall reading that passage at the time and being intrigued by it). The colors are fantastic and it definitely evokes something of the bizarre and enchanting friendship that evolves between Queequeg and Ishmael.
I've recently read a few pieces that seem to hint at evidence that 'Moby-Dick' is in actuality three separate pieces that Melville fused into a greater whole. The vast shifts between this early narrative which focuses on the lives of whalers, at short in particular, as well as the developing relationship between Ishmael and Queequeg which almost completely disappears after the first 150 pages seems to hint at that. It was quite bittersweet for me to leave the two of them behind in my illustrations, and in many ways these early chapters were among the most fascinating to visually explore.