For the last few months, nearly all of my art time has been spent on my Undertale fan comic, Just Cause. I was starting to feel the need to draw something different. For a while, it has been on my heart to draw something graceful and beautiful - a butterfly, a flower, a waterfall, or maybe a dancer.
The image of a flowing blue dress stuck in my mind, but who to put it on? Not a skinny, conventionally attractive white woman - we're seriously overrepresented in the "depictions of beauty and grace" department. Not that there's anything wrong with pictures of skinny white women, but what about all the other demographics who don't get to see themselves portrayed as often?
While I've never watched Steven Universe, online discussions about it did inspire me to start consciously including a wider variety of races and body types in my writing, and that effect has spilled over into my art. I decided that, for my depiction of beauty and grace, I would draw a big, beautiful Black woman, and make her as lovely and graceful as my artistic skills would allow.
I procrastinated on it a little, since I don't like to have too much of a delay between Just Cause pages, but the idea kept nagging at me. Then, on Sunday evening, it caught me and held on tight. I had planned to attend evening church, but a conflict of scheduling with my family's vehicles prevented it, so I decided to have my worship time home alone.
I sat down to try to read the Bible, but I kept getting this urging: Worship Me with your gifts. Celebrate My creation. Give this gift to My children.
I wasn't sure about it - I thought I was "supposed to" spend that time in Scripture - but I couldn't shake the feeling. So I decided to go with it.
And so, four hours of drawing later, here she is: a beautiful, free spirt, dancing wild and carefree, barefoot under the stars. Graceful, gorgeous, and revelling in it, without a thought for what anybody thinks of her.
Hopefully this picture will bless someone who has been told that she isn't, or can't be, beautiful with her body type. You aleady are, and I hope you can find a way to revel in it the way the woman in this drawing does.
If nothing else, at least your hands probably look better than hers. :P Ah, hands, the bane of artists everywhere.