The legend of Captain Jack sparrow-a sketch, an alias & much more…
It is generally rightful to put your best foot forward, especially when your first foot goes in the article section, which is to be written about the best you have created so far, as I could quote an excerpt from a scene of movie-the 9th company, its is said that beauty is everything that is free from the otiose, i.e. left of no crap, nothing useless, as believed by Michelangelo, when asked a question as to how he could make such a beautiful sculpture out of a rock. I do not know if what I have made could be of the merit of michelangelesque work or anything that would make him or anyone who abides by this philosophy, a critique free from otiosity, would rather give it such a merit. perhaps, I will leave the description, free from the contamination of judgmental remarks, as there is no merit higher than the beauty that will flow from the passion in your work, tirelessness, & a desire to better oneself, something that you would want to do day in and day out, first thing you would look to do in the morning and last thing that you go to bed looking at. if that shall mean that I must scribble the same section of wall, day in and out with graphite, to free it from otiose, and once I was done, I had not much of intellect, to decide the merit of it or call a bunch of critical opinioned heads, as I would use all my perception to sit and watch it from a corner for about three quarters of an hour, and there was enough reward in it, that would make me believe that I have brought to life, a beauty, a sight of usefulness, and there was enough reward in it, when every time I would gaze upon it.
Obsession with the character- it was first year in the college, & just like everyone in their teen, I was in a constant inner turmoil to answer the alias that could reflect my personality(as most people would say),but it’s usually the opposite ,its something you really want to be, its something that has stepped out of your skin and taken a role play, whether it be an alias for a gaming trauma, that strikes hard most of us, along with sleepless night of gaming or dreams that would follow running in the same loop for the entire night for instance, a car constantly chased by the police in Rockport city or a cursor that holds still on your blackened screen, or a soldier in combat, running around wooden boxes, whether it is the identity on the internet, a portfolio for a social network, or something that needs to be there by your side, while you need to psyche out during a performance in an outdoor sport, or it might be a mental disorder connected to that character, that would embrace you a dark side of your otherwise plaintive persona, it would help you boost your confidence and your public image, in short, bottom-line is that everybody needs an alias, everybody wants an alias or some one still in denial would say.. No we might have nicknames,locus of identity,same things, spells different.
Well, I just needed for the very same reasons, which in turn could not let me get beyond this point, until I would find it somehow, may be with a lucky accident, I was looking forward to be caught in surprise..(& then I used it for my nfs account, counter strike, orkut, face book, email signatures, blogging ,self-proclaiming etc etc).it was a code, I was a very very colorful code, that would resonate all the vibrant nature of my aura, that I could use to decorate myself at my will, my wish ,my fancy, and on my terms.
So when you allow your mind to be opened to such possibilities, it is almost impossible to track when and where it would calculate and fit you into the role, it’s like a constant script running in your mind that has taken control and it is now looking for a cast that would fit the role, its running around with its crew, its director, its cameramen, and your sub conscience is drifting away from yourself and chasing this image, this alias, but while on the outside you are calm, composed, shielded with you intellect and with all the known to you, that keep you in your sanity box. It’s a contradiction, and hence, no contradictions last for long, especially when it lies within you.
so I finally found one, I was the character in the movie-pirates of Caribbean: the curse of black pearl, he was attired in the most unusual fashion, carefree yet careful and sharp, comes along with a great presence of mind, talk gibberish in an utterly non-conventional manner but with an amusing accent but actually makes a great conversationalist, starts off bad but makes an accord with people at will, mighty convincing power with a lousy presence among the scabby dogs(pirates), gets away with anything ,”plans nothing and makes it all along”, condemns society and takes all that’s pleasurable, comes out fine in the end and hence it made a perfect anomaly to me for my life, how to live it, how to survive and with no violence, even though everybody is a pirate, in the real world too. It fits me so perfectly like nothing else never ever did, then camera rolled, director yelled and action it was, I took it with a great pride.
i would watch the movie day in and out, until I could by heart all his dialogues, mannerism, his characteristic gait, accent, his pirate English, his slangs, which were limited to my unfortunate director (as the movie’s time was limited and I was deriving everything out of it, I was copying things from the scenes) but to a very fortunate sanity. So, I mugged it up and it was a part of me, now I could use it as an alias wherever I want, it’s done. Well done vishu mishra, as I said to myself.
The obsession finally began to wear off below the lunatic levels, after the first year, my roommate was happy, my friends were happier and I couldn’t notice it as it was..now a part of me, that could come out at times, even if it would mean to come out of a pirate remix music of dj tiesto .in all this way, it was still much better than my previous roles of number frenzy of 26 or like one of the old childhood alias where I would want to be captain haddock from the tintin the cartoon show and then attempt to speak off my frustration at a blue blistering barnacle pace but left it soon as the idea of being spit on face by a camel dint come well to me(as seen in few episodes). But out of all, captain jack sparrow, holds the best, it would give me positivity at times, makes me feel larger than life, and to become a really witty jack. It’s more like a way of discovering oneself through another route. As Mr. Cobb would also agree upon the inception of genuine inspiration which is followed with the simultaneous process of creating and perceiving, a continuous discovery in mind (sub conscience), an idea that keeps on growing, an idea that finally turns real beyond a scope of argument, an irreversible process. In this case, it affected me positively. This is what I would say was my obsession with the character-captain jack sparrow (btw hats off to jhonny depp for the performance)
The making of sketch-
The idea of making the sketch stayed in my mind for over an year, as most would not believe that this is only my third significant pencil sketch, the word significant is the key, the first two, as to say the least, were comparatively a meager work of art ,not in standard but as they could not inspire many but one for whom it was conveyed ,conveyed as a purpose to impress upon in the first case or a friendly regard in the second, old regretful deeds in a straight contradiction to my current belief that has been formed out of hard lessons learnt in the process, of always creating for self improvement, working on every work like a masterpiece, give your best and most of all->leave the subject for inspiration, serving a purpose if possible and beyond the reach of personal agenda which would not solve the true purpose of art, and make it fall from the shelf of art & leave it to materialize, a terrible sin to the gift and talent, that makes one an artist.
So I could not actually jump start or clean chute unless I would cover up the most important alias that help me sculpture all the otiose free thinking ,that now helps me realize my true nature. i can hardly remember all the kind of ways I would think of, to make up this sketch but nothing could concrete for almost an year, I failed all the deadlines, all the self promises, self motivation. it could only come off in the worst of times, when I was feeling the most low state of my life, I was in a continuous introspection, I was building self esteem in the morning and I was breaking it with my inner demon every following night, In short, I was renovating myself or you could say trying to re-invent as I felt vishu mishra version.1 has failed, its time to hit R&D and construct a better featured model. It was the fourth quarter of the year 10’ and my re-invention had begun whether it is about more focus, pushing oneself physically, and enduring positive mental stamina and therefore on one fine day, the idea of making a pencil sketch on my hostel room wall appeared out of nowhere. As I knew very well, It was nothing short of tough, extra agony in time and effort, but a challenge, a mental challenge to see, something that I was putting myself under for sometime now, the unanswered question that how good I can get with it, and on a logical level, I could also to use my time of sleepless nights constructively, it would sometime remind me of stone scribbling tom hanks from the movie cast away or the world’s year one artist caveman making his presence to the history with his coal chalk sketches, cave paintings. it seemed perfect and most primitive way to expressing through art with carbon pencils, and various other range of shades, hb,2hb,2h,5b ,but I has used all in it. I would first draw a big rectangular box, with a suitable dimension and then I would notice that if my hand could only reach the top edge of the box, then I would spend time carving its nose and followed with its eyes, which gave me initial confidence and a self nod, that yes! It can be done, then I followed with eyebrows and bandana, and then the most difficult part-the hair, the beads, and the shades & then features, as my roommate did not notice for weeks as the sketch wasn’t clearly visible during the day with the bright sun spot on my wall, and when I was standing upon my bed whole night, he would be sleeping dead, until the eyes and nose were complete, my roommate had no idea what was going on my wall ,then once it was done rakshit (my roommate) and the laundry boy were the first to call it-“arey! Jack sparrow!” . To be honest ,that was the most inspiring comment ever, and then I made a pact with myself to make it perfect and not give a deadline, as other challenges poked through, like the daunting task of filling it, the very slow processing changes in it and the dis-heartening paint off from the wall that would happen sometimes, which would take an hour to fill, I would stand up sometime from 5-6 hours straight with my laptop on my chair, which stood on the pile of my pillows and I would zoom in to 400x to see a part of the picture and then reproduce it on a high end up, almost 10 times the size, then eventually I would get down and go stand near the door end to see from time to time, that how it actually looks as it would then normally fit in my vision from a six feet distance than standing to a really close zoom in, which was not so reliable and exact. Another thing that comes with giant size was,that shading an area of the size of my palm could exhaust me and still not look perfect, also I was not likely to get the mental flow every following night to urge and attempt that, a to be masterpiece, I would work on random days for random hours, so the entire December-January-February had gone by and I was still left with almost 50 percent of the most important part of the work, it was hence the deadline taken, that by 26th march, I would finish it off, but it took another 2 months and I ended the prospect finally on may 10,2011.meanwhile it was getting bigger, brighter and pretty awesome, sometimes the rain water leaking through roof and sides of the wall would wake me up sleeping or out of same worry, and then half asleep I would watch its path and pray that it wont follow into the sketch which was fortunately lying at a greater distance from the seepage. after, I was convinced no measures to be taken furthermore, that the rain has stopped or its no more seeping further, I would go back to sleep.
After it was complete, and I was beyond all sort of happiness to understand and absorb the moment, I could no more resist the reality bite that was eating the back of my head that it was a masterpiece on a wall of my college hostel room. I cant take the wall home(although It was given as ‘the’ idea by lot of sensible friends who later understood that brick walls cant be taken off in chunks ),nor can I take it off like a canvas, nor I can ever give four and half months to a giant portrait of Capt. Jack sparrow, which is already made in an alien territory, lying at the mercy of hostel owners and tenants would always change,come every year and go, nor I was an artist of a celebrity stature that I could file a petition to the chief warden, to get it preserved for the sake of art, as it was more likely, that they would fine me for spoiling The wall!, A funny truth. Damage to college property, as in their official terms. In the beginning of making the sketch it was a challenge, a small picture, far away from what it looked now, and what its value had been created, It had come off much better than expected. The great masterpiece had been made but the fight to preserve it begins. With its fading chance, it was already looking like an antique in a very funny way, a strange humor of which I enjoyed none.
After a countless beer, and numerous suggestions on taking the wall off with a sledge hammer and paying 10k fine to the authorities, but sadly, settling it for the reason that it will never hold in a chunk piece ,nor a robbery could be proclaimed of it,as the robber would rather take off my wooden door than the 10 inched block of cement, to steal off my wrecked laptop, or the collection of 1re,2rs coins etc etc. so, it was followed with borrowing a camera from a friend, and taking snaps from all possible angles, then asking my friends to get a snap with it. then it was writing to the photography club who recommended me to the free-lancing ‘professionals’ of their group, who would take a paid job, of which I had no money to pay as my request was to the aspiring college photography club hobbyists who definitely know more jack on photography than myself, to help me out and also add this to their college portfolio, and secondly the idea of getting a real professional was much more sensible in case I could get money ,I was also sending pictures to the college magazine’s editorial board, the idea was to make the sketch, a part of the college magazine and then ask the ed-board to plea for not washing it off as it was a part of college magazine’s year edition. It all was a ritual for a redemption .
the last day before leaving the room-405,9th block, I was on a chaotic schedule, which included lot of important work to be completed before boarding the train scheduled for next day, along with preserving the sketch, which included events like going to buy a wooden frame worth over 1000rs, from a frame shop in karkalla (highland to manipal),not to mention it was raining hard to aggravate my difficulties, which were to be followed with room shifting, due formalities in the bank and in college, and buying fevi seal, fevi stick and all the fucking fevi of manipal could not help hold it, the frame kept falling off for an hour, as the captain could not be contained, like almost caught but not framed. Finally it fit the wall, it was followed with handling the floor caretaker by giving him an old monk quarter, and another request at the hostel counter to the caretakers. The ritual was complete, but in the end, jack sparrow was left all alone in the room-405,9th block, as I left the place, and I felt for the sketch ,like I lost a living soul, a part of me, in my mind.
I would have done anything to save him off the gallows but all that could be done, I did. But I could never muster enough courage but once to keep a check on him, to see if it still exist in the room.
I also wanted to spread the compressed file among sketch lovers, and put a hard copy through jhonny depp’s official fan mail address I had, of whose authenticity I was never sure off, and the task is still pending, here are all the photos that I wanted to include in the package to depp’s fan mail.
In case, someone would like to volunteer to send them, I would be highly thankful.
there a slideshow below,with catptn.’s sketch view from all the angles.