I won’t say writing was a hobby because I literally didn’t write anything from about college until I was 32 or so. And certainly nothing “serious” until about 2008. Which became BoD and then that was that.
But yeah, before then I used to read a lot more than I do today. I used to cross-stitch. I used to do lousy Poser 3D art. I liked the art stuff – even though it wasn’t massively taxing and somewhat equivalent to 3D Barbie, I still found it soothing. It was one way to get out some of that creative juice.
When I started writing, sometimes I had trouble imagining what my characters looked like. I don’t usually associate them with existing people like actors or live-action characters (which is why that question is so hard for me to answer when people want me to say who I could see playing them in a movie. The answer is generally no-one.) So I’d often fire up Poser and mess around until I found something that worked for me.
I’d do this a lot for characters I ran in Play-by-Post games, and eventually did quick and dirty render commissions for other players as well. It was generally fun to see the characters coming to life, though as hobbies went, it could get fairly expensive, if only because I didn’t make my own meshes or textures (most of the time.)
Funny how that works. For all that writing isn’t always a visual medium, I’ve come to find that I often need to process the appearance of my characters and settings until I find something I can live with and that helps bring them to life. (I suspect this is true for a lot of writers. It’s also why I really wish I could draw.)
Sometimes just by playing around with visual concepts I can enhance the characterizations. (For example, Talivar’s beard scruff didn’t happen until Book 2…and only because Darchala sketched him that way. I liked the look of it so much, I went back and incorporated it into the draft. Retroactive appearance, ftw.)
I haven’t done anything with Poser in well over a year now. I don’ t know if it’s because the creative drive is emptying out via the writing at this point or if it’s just because I don’t have time. Probably a little of both.
Which is too bad, because I think it could really help me with this new story. I’ve got a fairly good grasp of what my characters look like this time around, but there’s still something about putting them together that really solidifies it for me. It certainly did for both Abby and Ion, back in the early BoD days, anyway.
I did just get an email indicating the latest version of Poser is on sale – I never bothered upgrading since I wasn’t using it. I’m sorta tempted now, though, but I’m still unsure if it’s worth it or if I really have time to mess with it.
But maybe I should.