That little legend over there, is me. I think I'm about 5 years old in that photograph.
If you think you've ever seen someone rock a Batsuit harder, you're wrong. Just look at that wide eyed enthusiasm. A little boy trying hard to change the world, in his own, disastrously inefficient and laughably under resourced way.
The differences between that little boy and me now, aged 28 are almost inpersptively small. I'm still afraid of grown ups, I still have nightmares, I still have the little pot belly; I still want to be Batman, and I still want to change the world.
Living on this planet with everyone else can feel a little demoralising sometimes, or like we're hitting our heads against a brick wall.
Where there should be only love we have as much hate as ever. Where we should have equality, rational thinking and altruism; we still hold tight to selfishness, ignorance and repression. We still have people in unending, preventable poverty when we all collectively have the resources to live like kings!
There's a running joke in my household, that I "colour in" for a living. To which my usual reply is "Not true. I have to draw the lines aswell." And while that may almost be true, the reason why I do what I do, colouring in or not, is because I believe that my artwork can make a difference. I believe I can make a difference, and so should you. Whether it's simply to make you laugh or smile and forget your troubles for just a little bit, or completely change the way you think about something, my aim is for my work to change you in some small way for the happier.
I saw a great quote on twitter today which prompted me to write this post. It was attributed to a bookseller called Margaret Neville, she said "If you can get a kid to read a book, you are potentially changing their life". That's why I do what I do. I honestly believe that great stories and art for any age group, including, and probably more importantly for us grown ups, can effect the way we see the world, the way we experience the rest of humanity and the way we deal with the events that happen around us.
This may sound like a pompous, pretentious idea, but just think about how the artworks you've encountered in your life have shaped you. My guess is you won't have to do much soul searching to find it.
Star Wars taught me to stand up for what I believe in, I can tell you that. Batman the same. Ian McEwan's writing taught me what love is, and what forgiveness is about. Charlie and the Chocolate factory taught me that what I can imagine is just as, if not more important than what I can touch and see. John Singer Sargent helped me to find my passion, and Charles Shultz and Bill Watterson taught me how to get older, without growing up.
Art matters. Art is important. My art can make a difference, and so can yours, whatever form it takes. So whatever you're making, keep making it, for all our sakes.
I for one can't wait to see it.