Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Abbreviated dreams

Something about the "teens," the pre-World War I era from around 1910-1917, has always drawn me— America in apparent innocence, before two world upheavals.  Of course, that "idyllic America" was only idyllic for a segment of the population.  There was plenty of darkness to go around.

Characters are coming to me from this era, and I'm not sure where they're going.  There may be a book in this— I'm just free-spinning, listening to their voices as I draw.  This one above started out sweet, and grew wistful as she came onto the page.  Though I come from a line of teachers and I see teaching as one of the highest professions, in that era there were only a few career opportunities open to women—most likely secretary, nurse, or teacher.  I started to think that perhaps this wasn't her life's aspiration.

What do you think she might have chosen, given wider and more equal opportunities? [note:  this post has been edited for clarity]


  1. This is a totally wonderful character, Brian! I do hope she ends up in a story! Wanted to share that some women of the era DID have opportunities to become teachers. My great aunt, born in 1899, left high school at age 16 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to attend a six-week teachers' training course in big ol' scary New York City. She returned to Johnstown, where she taught second grade for 42 years!

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! I've edited my post for clarity—I meant to say that being a teacher was one of the only jobs conventionally open to women at the time (also nurse, secretary or domestic servant).