I am best known as Chapel Orahamm for my fictional works, or K. Thornton-Gibson for my academic works. I’m an academic, fictional author, and artist.
I’ve been drawing since I was able to get my hands on crayons and markers back when I could toddle. My folks like to remind me of the many times daycare and early childhood teachers would come to them and tell them about my art antics. I was slow, meticulous, hated coloring outside the lines and got upset at other kids who scribbled. I also had a penchant for incorporating lots of detail. Now, was I any good? Please, I was a kid. Hell no. Elementary school drove me crazy when they’d bring out the macaroni and paste. I was never much of one to get behind collages or anything involving scissors and glue. Give me a block of copy paper and a few mechanical pencils with decent erasers and I’ll be happy for days. Charcoal is fun, but messy. Paints are interesting, but I don’t find them easy to work with, and therefore don’t practice enough. I will not go near oil pastels…omg texture and smell overload.
I had taught myself enough art that come high school I was sort of left to my own devices in art class, if not helping the teacher with the other students. When you’re in 9th grade trying to teach 12th graders how to draw something outside of stick figures…yeah, that doesn’t really go down well. Looking back on my art from then…eee. It was not that great. Sure, I got the idea of shadowing down, but mastering it had not happened. I still don’t see how any teacher would say I was good enough to no longer need instruction.
It was about early elementary to middle school time frame when I started learning the principles of writing and found I enjoyed it more then my fellow student. I hadn’t quite stepped into writing stories for myself yet though. For the most part my teachers just had a habit of making us write short three paragraph stories that incorporated our spelling words in them. Some of my books started out with me trying to learn new languages (see Polaris Skies) or working toward my GRE to apply for a Masters degree. I don’t remember which of my stories I did that with. I want to say Life of a Librarian.
A friend of mine in middle school knew I liked to read a lot (when I say a lot, I outpaced everyone else by 5 to 1 on the number of books I’d read. I almost wiped out the entire stock of the middle school library between 7th and 8th grade). So, he asked me if I’d give his book that he was working on a read. It was middle school. I don’t remember anymore what it was about, but it was the first time someone had trusted me with their soul. It let me know it was okay to let the world inside me out and that someone out there would value it too.
Hence, I started writing. My first story was The Doubloons. I started working on it in 8th grade, all by hand on sheets of paper and pencil. Then I moved on to typing it. My mom was a great typist and sat me down in 4th grade and taught me how. I can never thank her enough for that skill. It wasn’t until my first year in college that I finished it. I now cringe when I read it though. It’s so much horny teenage hormone laced drivel it’s painful. I should rewrite it at some point. It was my launching point though for the Kavordian Library. Polaris Skies was an offshoot from The Doubloons that I started in my Junior year dealing in the origin of the Polaris Brotherhood who establish the Fiws on Chima. It sort of got waylaid though. Same with The Toy Keeper. Those were all developed around the same time. It wasn’t until after I graduated college though that I was more fully able to dedicate brain space to writing and developing my world.
One would think with my interest in art and writing that I would have gone to get a fine arts degree or be an English major. Can I say that I hate grammar work? I did take a history of English course though and found that enjoyable. Actually, I have a different passion that went hand in hand with my art during high school and has continued since. I love anime and manga. I also enjoy history and doing academic research. Initially I went to a college back east to get a degree in Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese. Due to a bad relationship melt down, I ended up moving back to a college that didn’t have an Asian Studies degree. I applied for Hospitality to establish a Bed and Breakfast. That morphed rather quickly over to Geology so that I could become a Paleontologist. Due to a mismanagement in their system, I wasn’t going to be able to take all the classes I needed in order to make the summer camps (read pre-requisites) that I had to take in a certain period of time to graduate. I ended up leaving Geology to get an interdisciplinary degree in Liberal Arts with focus in Art History and History and a minor in Sociology seeing as I already had most of my credit hours in those complete. I tried my best to take every Asian History and Asian Arts History course the college offered. So, in the end, I sort of ended up with an Asian Studies degree, though the one I originally started out trying to get had more focus on business. Oh well.
In the end of all of this, I did at least create one decent research paper. My profs told me to go get it published in an academic journal. It took me six years after finishing college to finally obtain that goal, but I did! I also gave a presentation on the topic at the academic conference the journal was associated with. I haven’t had access to enough academic material to continue doing research like that, but I loved it when I did. I have a fixation on Ukiyo-e and it’s influence on the Impressionists, the publishing industry in Japan, and the creation of manga as modern art. That’s where Ukiyo-e, WWII, and Walt Disney: The Influences on Tezuka Osamu’s Development of the Modern World of Anime and Manga came from. I can also admit that I don’t care for his art style. Gasp. Heretic. Sacrilege. Blasphemy. Yeah yeah, pipe down. You can do research on stuff you don’t like just as much as things you like. How else do you think you get better at drawing hands and feet or writing up good descriptions? I digress.
RT @ThorntonGibsonK: I can’t wait to read what happens next in The Kavordian Library! – #scifi, #fantasy, #webseries #booksTweet