I’ve taken some liberty with the appearance of my characters while writing this story. It was an interesting surprise that in the process of drawing the dragons that the different types took on different appearances. This was not something that was planned it just happened. It could be likened to dressing a strong willed small child who is very opinionated about what clothes they will wear. “Don’t put that green shirt on me, you know I don’t wear green” they might argue. The drawings would wrestle back and forth on my drawing board until their features were acceptable to them and then I could move on to the next character.
The Grand Wizar is a very social dragon that leads the dragon community in the seasonal festivities and especially the birthing celebrations in the spring. He has a plump effervesce about him where as The Old Dragon Sage is very wrinkled and has a stoic appearance. Both of these character’s dorsal crest are similar to the traditional approach of drawing an upside down V, which curves backward from their head to their tail. It was also a pleasant surprise that The Littlest Dragon dorsal crest didn’t follow suit for it was similar to fur that begins with his Mohawk hair cut and proceeds down to his tail. Not only does this hair cut hint at his mild mischievous nature the addition of this feature made the little guy more appealing, even cuddly.
There have been observations that Princess Leizu doesn’t look Chinese, this was
on purpose since I’ve aimed at a universal appeal and I wanted
her to look Eurasian. One of the biggest changes from reality was the place of women in Chinese society historically and currently.
There are things about our culture worldwide and historically that concern me but the one that really upsets me is the treatment of women. It is so discouraging the way that they are regarded and not given the same opportunities, social ranking or liberties as men. I applaud the changes in the western world even though they’re not complete and I’m horrified at what goes on in the East today. I guess it could have reflected the fact that men are usually stronger than women but the fact that this perception has lasted as long as it has truly amazes me.
I’ve put Leizu and her Aunt Wu in a position of authority in the weaving mill so they could be involved with the production of the fabric and eventually the strange circumstances would reveal why Leizu dropped that first cocoon into her tea and discovered silk. This line of attack was also taken so that I could tell a story about a world where hard work, equality and imagination could overcome the difficulties that life can bring. It is about creating a world that I would like to exist rather than the reality that still exists.
This isn’t something that is unique to me since many artistic works display utopian themes. The painter, illustrator Normal Rockwell said that the motivating force behind his presentation of wholesome American values was that he was disappointed in the world around him so he painted the world the way he wished it would be rather than the reality that he experienced.