When I was a kid, I loved to doodle. Specifically, I loved creating characters… talking animals, silly looking people, animated vegatation, and – long before VeggieTales – I even had an idea for talking fruit, vegetables, and kitchenware. Tabletop adventures.
When I was probably seven, I wrote the Cabbage Patch company telling them that the “Kids” (which were crazy popular at the time) should have pets. My letter was never acknowledged, but – within the next few years, the “Kids” had pets for sale.
In high school, I started to write music. I suppose I became enamored with the idea that I could write, record, and perform music as a vocation, so – after spending some time in prayer (but not too much) – that’s what I did. Like so many things in life, my motivations were definitely mixed. I was passionate about sharing my faith through song, but I also did like the attention.
Most of us who think of ourselves as “creative” tend to crave affirmation. We want our lives and work to be appreciated. I will always be susceptible to the pang of those “needs”, but as I have deepened in Christ and developed a true Kingdom mindset, I find myself returning to the raw joy of creating things as I did when I was a kid. Back when my dreams weren’t dependent on how I personally was perceived. It was just fun.
In the early 2000′s, those childhood dreams started tugging at me again. So for about two-and-a-half years, I cut my touring schedule in half and started developing an animated series called “The Finest of Fables” along with a former VeggieTales producer Jen Combs McFadden, a couple former Disney animators, and several others who knew much more about the process than I did.
The project, as planned, was enormously expensive. After months of working and worrying, I decided to shelve the project and refocus on the music/touring. It was a huge disappointment at the time,
but also a major learning experience.
As a storyteller and illustrator, I have so far to go. But “Neckless” is definitely a happy start. I hope you think so too!
cont. High Hopes - part II - Tomorrow.