Flying in the Sky


People always ask me where ideas come from, for stories or illustrations.  I usually give a variety of answers based in fact or fiction, but the real answer is ideas come from everywhere, and from nowhere.  What makes an artist an artist, what gives them vision, is that they have trained themselves to investigate the nowhere to see and hear from all that surrounds them, to absorb it, and translate it back.

Suspense writer Stephen King, in his book “On Writing” says that ideas are constantly flying around in the sky, and it’s the writer’s responsibility to reach up and grab them.  To illustrate that point further in terms of sketching characters to life, I had drawn a character called “Sister Cat” for one of my picturebook manuscripts about kid ghouls.  Sister Cat is a sister to the main character, Velma the Vampire, although the biological conjuring of that relation is left a mystery. They are ghouls after all, and anything is possible.  At first, Sister Cat looked like this…


Cute in pink, but a little too cat-like to be a real sister.  So I waited for something to fly by..

Right before Valentines Day, during a break from the drawing board, I scanned a picture of a swan into photoshop, and did a little conjuring myself.  The end result shown here is 2 swans forming a heart….and if you look long enough, a cat appears in the middle, a cat with wings. On Stephen King’s advice, I reached up and grabbed it…


And Sister Cat in action with Velma the Vampire…


Sister Cat came from nowhere, but there she was, staring at me all the while, waiting.

An aMUSEd vision…it doesn’t get better that that!


Terri Murphy






One Response to Flying in the Sky

  1. wellerwishes says:

    This is very neat! How interesting to see where the shape came from!

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