Friends in Art

Jake A. Strife on February 12, 2017


Lately, I’ve been on a drawing binge. It started about ten days ago when I decided to draw one of my best friends… and by that I mean a character I’ve been drawing and writing about for nearly twenty years now. Julie Ulicia Lockhart. She goes by Julie Ulicia in my novel series: Severed Chains (Which some of you may remember as the original Dark Dayz…).

Julie… was likely the very first character I ever drew. She starred in my short story: Silence Y2K: Year to be Killed, which I penned in 1999 or so. Other than Jacob (originally Jake), she is the only character I still write about from that story. There were eight stories, all about 40 pages each… but I digress.

I call her my friend because as I said, I’ve known her for about twenty years. And even though Severed Chains has more than 15,000 reads on Wattpad, I know way more about her than anyone else. Why? I created her. I was there when she was happy, sad, angry, hurt, and every other conceivable emotion. While she is one of my closest friends, there are others of course; all of which are from Severed Chains. Sure, I’ve drawn the Omega Virus characters, but I barely created them a few years ago.

Jacob Ashe, Majo Berenson, Azen Zenlil, Vale Galanodel, & Cassie Stargaze. Those are the five that I brought to life with my art. Honestly, I started by drawing their descendants… Akira, Raquel, Krayko, Tobias… Back then, I never thought I would write an entire, full-length novel. But in 2007 during a story writing class, I began writing Severed Chains… what I called a ‘prequel’ trilogy because I’d already written a 400+ page story on their children (in a notebook, which I hope I still have somewhere). For some reason, though, Jacob and Julie’s story ne ded told more than the others, and thus, I began to write.

Ten years later, I’m rewriting Severed Chains with my new skill level, and I aim to make it a hundred times better than the original 150,000-word mess. Maybe I’m too critical of myself. Anyway…

As I said ten days ago, I started drawing again. I had barely drawn anything since 2015.

According to the drawings I currently have uploaded to my facebook albums these are how many drawings I’ve done each year since 2002.

2K2: 40

2K3: 65

2K4: 98

2K5: 190

2K6: 46

2K7: 166

2K8: 60

2K9: 104

2K10: 37

2K11: 109

2K12: 84

2K13: 51

2K14: 35

2K15: 110

2K16: 47

2K17: 14 (so far)

Just by looking back on the past 15 years of drawing, I can remember what happened those years. Years where I had barely any drawings, usually was because I had a bad year in life. Anything from family passing, to bad living situations, etc. But these drawings not only are characters who have become my friends; they’re milestones in my life. While some people only keep a journal to hold memories of their lives, I both draw AND journal.

Indeed, art has gotten me through a lot, and I don’t give my artistic skill the credit I should. So hopefully this year, I can make many drawings… there are unannounced things coming that will change my life for the better, so this should be my comeback year with art. And of course, plenty of novel publications and debuts on Wattpad.

Stay tuned for all my art on DeviantArt:

All my debut novels on Wattpad:

And my published books on Amazon:

Thanks as always for following, reading, and listening to my rambles.

May we all have the best year possible.

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