half world abm creative xristopher bland 1152016Have you ever wondered where inspiration comes from? I wondered about this as a teenager. Long ago in a distant land called the 1970s—long before the idea of the universe speaking to us, Abraham or the notion that our higher selves simply flow back to us—I had the idea that it worked something like this:

There was a place connected to Earth yet invisible to the people living there. In form, it looked like an island. On this island lived people of every artistic brilliance: painters, potters, weavers, thatchers, carvers, bakers, musicians and more who made up the full spectrum of creativity. These people—innocent and untainted—were forever creating for the pure love of it. Yet they could never visit Earth to share their creations. So they caused their creations to manifest in the minds of people on Earth, who came to attribute such moments as being in touch with the spirits (or, inside the spirits). So the word “inspired” was born. Yet in those moments of inspiration, people were really half-worlders—half living on Earth and half living in the other place, not invisible but simply existing as an alternate dimension.

I first wrote this idea as a one-page story called “The Silent Island” on a sheet of paper that I still have today. I thought I might expand the idea into a book one day. Yet as time went on, I also felt the idea might make an interesting musical framework for an album of rock opera. As such things were well beyond my skill at the time, I filed the story away for future consideration and forgot about it until the winter holidays of 2015.

I was drawing in my studio when one fantasy-landscape sketch after another began rushing out of me. At first, I thought I was working on a new ad to promote my graphic services. Yet as lead and ink coursed across blank pages, I sensed there was something else at work within me. Some larger world was speaking to me through a sudden desire to explore graphical landscapes, photo-realistic image creation and green-screen techniques. I chatted with my partner Mary Beth about what was happening and slowly it dawned on both of us.

That long-ago story was still speaking to me and asking to come out under the name Half-World. So I decided this morning to create this quick image, re-purposed from its original incarnation as an ad for the December issue of Starlight Music Chronicles magazine. In doing this, I’m doing something practical. I’m creating a record of having used the spelling “Half-World” first as the name of a creative work. The other spellings (“Half World” and “Halfworld”) have already been used in other creative works, whereas “half-world” (with the hyphen) only finds general usage as an adjective. Yet more importantly than mundane practicality, I’m setting an intention this morning to finally and fully let Half-World come out.

I don’t know what it will look like in final form. Perhaps it will become that rock opera. Perhaps it will become an art show or graphic novel. Or perhaps I don’t need to know at the moment. Though I’ve created much over the years, I’ve been like many in killing a lot of creativity along the way by over-thinking things and mangling myself in practicality. So I’m not going to do that now. I’m just going to let this world flow out of me, creating each piece as it presents itself and staying focused on those pieces until they’re ready to show me how they all come together. I’m going to trust this, and when that world is finally ready to appear before this world, I’ll happily open the doors to everyone.

Until then, I’ll continue posting other things here as they speak, and hope your own worlds richly speak to you every day.


Copyright © 2016, Xristopher Bland for abmCreative. All rights reserved. Contact abmcreativeservices@gmail.com.


One thought on “Half-World

  1. The one thing about album covers in the seventies, especially in the world of Prog Rock the jacket was HALF the experience! The liner notes, the artwork, the swirls and colours that abounded right off the paper it was melted in to! The album helped make that segue from reality to fantasy, sort of HALF-WAY there ya know? The music fulfilled that journey to the other side as you clutched the jacket close to you and let it whisk you away somewhere far. Great artwork on Half-World, definitely a hallmark 70’s look to it!


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