Autistic Animal Familiar – pen and ink

This week I drew what my own autistic animal familiar might be like. I began my drawing with some basic shapes…

Then I built on my basic shapes to make a pencil sketch…

Once this was done I set to work on my ink drawing. This was all done in bed since my pain has been ferocious recently. (I am trying to follow advice and listen to my body more and take better care of it but it has yet to show any results.) I prefer drawing at a table but “needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle” (Blackadder).

Here’s the finished ink drawing…

My thinking with this drawing and autism was…

  • I made him basic shape a scawney little cat – just the sort of cat I would be. Cat’s always seem to me to be naturally autistic. It gives me a very strong sense of affinity with them. My cat Leia and I are like two peas in a Star Wars loving pod. (Yes, she loves Star Wars too because people call her name sometimes and call her a princess, but mainly because I give her treats so she will watch it with me. Lol)
  • I gave him big big eyes, ears and whiskers to convey his heightened sensitivity and the way we take in all the information not just selective bits.
  • The broken collar represents how so many clothes, clothing labels, jewellery etc. are intensly irritating and also how we don’t always fit so well into society.
  • My creature’s tail is curved up into a golden spiral which is based on the golden ratio (which is approximately 1 to 1.61803398875). This indicates how cool patterns are for many autistic people, me included.
  • I also gave my cat slightly sad comic eyes to show how it can be difficult sometimes to be autistic, especially when we have communication and social problems.

I’m going to call my autistic animal familiar “Joe“.


4 thoughts on “Autistic Animal Familiar – pen and ink

  1. How beautiful, Jo! It’s a gorgeous picture and I love how you shared the way it embodies your heart/mind/experience in your design choices. Wonderful work, as always, my friend. This just filled my whole heart :).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I have Animal’s in Translation and other books she has written. She is an amazing person. While I’m not amazing I do feel a sense of kinship with her especially with respect to the animals. For some reason I can be completely myself with animals and with children, but adults play all sorts of social tricks which I don’t understand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the analysis/explanation. I can understand if not experience everything you stated. Temple Grandin is another highly functioning autistic who identifies with animals. If you aren’t familiar with her you might take a look at her book, “Animals in Translation”, or any other of her excellent books.

    Liked by 1 person

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