Not too long ago, my brother and I were talking about an adventure that we played during a Dungeons and Dragons session way back in high school. Such role-playing games were group activities that involved the authoring of this story by the input of the players and through the focus of the game master. During those times when I was the dungeon master, I would use my art skills to make drawings of scenes that the players would encounter (like the one above). However, most of our adventures had no such visual roadmaps, and the unfolding of the story had to rely on our imaginations, much like what happens when you’re reading a book. The difference was that it was more than one reader partaking in this narrative exercise. The uncanny part of this was that all these years later, my brother and I have talked about these adventures as if we had shared these experiences in reality, not unlike any one of our vacations trips. We were recalling that the poison vial stood left of the window which was hard to open, that the party of characters were trapped by the crowd on both sides of a street during the ambush, that the smell of a den just before a dangerous encounter reeked of boiled cabbage – and the details we shared in this mutual experience rarely ever contradicted.
In this space, I hope to bring up examples and ideas that relate to how we picture things in our minds. This pursuit comes from a long consideration of it in my own art, and I would like to share some of the thoughts I have had over the years.