quality breakdown

Djali as prefiguration of Enjolras

If there’s one thing that’s clear about Les Misérables, it’s that everyone cannot handle how hot Enjolras is. Victor Hugo cannot be clear enough that Enjolras is a hottie on levels that we’re just not ready for. 

Enjolras wasn’t the first Hugolian character to be too pretty for this world, however.

Allow me to present to you Djali the Goat, from Notre-Dame. 

Then Gringoire saw come up to her, a pretty little white goat, alert, wide-awake, glossy, with gilded horns, gilded hoofs, and gilded collar.

Enjolraic quality breakdown:

  • pretty? Check. Gringoire can’t deal with the prettiness of this goat. Djali’s a boy-goat, but that doesn’t stop the flurry of adjectives describing his beauty.
  • alert? Check, and wide-awake. Nothing’s getting past Djali because this goat has traversed the revolutionary goatpocalypse.
  • glossy? Check. Djali and Enjolras could share conditioner.
  • gilded? Check. They’re both Hugo’s golden boys.

How special is Djali? Shit, you don’t even KNOW you are not READY for this magical fucking goat. Yeah, he’s easy on the eyes, but he does goddamn MATH on a TAMBOURINE. What month is it? Djali knows. What time is it? Djali can tell you without needing an overpriced Society 6 clock. 

Djali does mothereffing impressions. This goat is too damn special, like a guy who fights on the barricades and emerges untouched at the end.

Esmeralda and Djali walking down the street:

two fine, delicate, and charming creatures, whose tiny feet, beautiful forms, and graceful manners he was engaged in admiring, almost confusing them in his contemplation; believing them to be both young girls, from their intelligence and good friendship; regarding them both as goats,—so far as the lightness, agility, and dexterity of their walk were concerned.

Whoa there, Hugo. Djali’s just that amazing. Like Enjolras, Djali’s talents get him into hot water when he’s convicted of witchcraft. That’s right: Djali’s a martyr for progress too. 

Honestly, I don’t even see much of a difference between Enjolras and Djali. Stick a rosette on this goat and call them twins. 

Drawing from the Gut

So, Tumblr artists, I have a question for you.

The last few years, for a variety of reasons, I have been taking an entirely cerebral approach to drawing – learning design (or trying to, that didn’t go so well), line quality, technical breakdowns, finding the right inbetweens to make someone else’s animation flow smoothly – but in doing so have lost touch with the more emotional, intuitive side of drawing, which used to be what animated me (so to speak). There are all sorts of tutorials out there for how to be a better draughtsman or colourist or whatever, but not so much on how to hook your heart up to your hand, presumably because this is what artists start with and the layers of technical expertise are built on top of that. I remember the feeling of being able to spill so much emotion into a drawing but can’t seem to find that pathway now. Have any of you had this problem? Is there a mental trick you can suggest, a brain-tweaker, some way of approaching it that might re-establish the connection?