Inside the Creator’s Mind: Arcadio Bolaños

I didn’t take it seriously at first. Oh sure, it sounded wonderful. Let’s do an anthology with our friends and publish it. Piece of cake. The kind of thing everyone talks about all the time and never gets done in the end. That kind of thing.
So in the beginning I said to Andrew, count me in. And then I sort of forgot about it. I knew people would give up in the end. Everybody is busy. It’s a busy life out there. But somehow, thanks to Andrew’s patience, we found the time and we did an effort. We stopped being busy and we got down to our key boards or drawing tables. And we started to make this thing happen.

It took me a while to come up with a story about this particular virtue. My lack of hope was evident: after all I didn’t even think people would actually write and draw all the wonderful stories included in this anthology. There was a moment when I thought, hell, I better stick to drawing and be done with it. But then I realized that I was first and foremost a writer. And that finding hope in us, as a group, could help me create the right story.

In the end I don’t know if I succeeded or not. It’s up to the reader to make that call. And that’s all I have to say as a writer.

As an artist, though, I do feel like I have to apologize. I’m the kind of guy that never gets into troubles (or when in trouble is smart enough to get out of it without suffering any consequences). I had it all planned. I even promised to illustrate another story. But, and as clichéd as it may sound, accidents happen. I went to an emergency room for the first time in 25 years (and I’m 25, mind you). I couldn’t use my right thumb for over a month. So that meant zero sketching, zero drawing, zero inking.

Probably against my doctor’s advice, I did whatever I could to speed up my recovery. I couldn’t let Andrew down. But most especially I couldn’t let myself down. I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity, just like I had missed so many others in the past.
So I penciled and inked my two pages in record time. And if they look somehow rushed or simply substandard you all know why. I was struggling with the aftermaths of my accident (which is a story for another time).

What is hope in the end? An abstract concept or rather the force that prevent us from languishing in a situation in which our success is never guaranteed? I would venture to say that hope is also this: creation. And this anthology is, after all, the best example of hope one could find.

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