The first time I tried to conceptualize the character designs for Listening to Georgiana was when I started writing the story back in 2009. I was maybe 16 and in the second half of my junior year in high school. I got the idea of writing about my life from the journaling/blogging that consumed my afternoons. My writings were largely due to my perception of life. I was upset with my life and with how I’d been leading it. I was a very angsty child. 🙃
The very first title I remember naming this story was ‘Serenade’, and I had this whole idea of making it into a trilogy— the other two titles being ‘Lullabies’ and ‘Ballads’ I think. It was going to span three books following a young teenage girl’s life in an overbearing academy.
Unironically, I called it the Fall Asleep Trilogy.
Her name was Rheanne— which is obviously so very close to my real name Roxanne. That should’ve been a flag for me but she remained as Rheanne for some years.
I am honestly slightly disturbed by my old art.
At the time, I wasn’t learning art seriously. It was something I treated as a hobby of sorts. Also, I was riding high on ‘talent’.
made using one of those online doll makers that used to be popular in 2009-2011
Also short note: Her full name was Jane Rheanne Andrews. Like why did I do that to myself???
And I certainly didn’t have a character named ‘Sebastian’ as a pivotal person in Georgiana’s life. Rather, all of the characters were real people from my life.
Listening to Georgiana does feature these true to life characters but I have characters like Sebastian who are not entirely ‘true’. They don’t exist in my real life, basically.
And so, Rheanne was largely a character who was unchecked.
Even though I did have people in my life who pointed out my wrongs, I wasn’t open to the criticism— sometimes, and she was, when I think of it now, very much like a Mary Sue. She could do no wrong. Sometime around college or after graduating high school, I did create a ‘Landon’ character.
Landon is based on something real but not a real person.
Soon after creating a character that constantly butted heads with Rheanne, a character she had no preconceived opinions of and vice versa, a new side of my main character emerged. She was feisty and stubborn. She was sad. And openly so.
They were aspects that really stuck to me and were translated into the recreation of the story of Rheanne. Georgiana is based on these changes while also laced with apprehension, aggressive passiveness, and she is withdrawn.
The things I decided to keep were things I’d come to learn were part of me that I never wanted to acknowledge as a child. 😅
College was comprised of University then a private school, which really brought into perspective the sort of person I was and who I wanted to become.
And I slowly accepted these things about myself. Let me just right out say that once I did this, there was no turning back, and I’m glad that I was able to look within myself and say, ‘stop this bullshit, let’s grow up’. I’m mentioning this because this was the catalyst for continuing with this story. I was stuck on the idea of her being 16 and in an academy, and I couldn’t get anywhere with the story because I wasn’t writing characters with emotions. They weren’t relatable but filled with dramas I thought would be entertaining to read.
I wasn’t writing ‘truth’ that I resonated with, and therefore it was just made up things that no one else could relate with.
If you are interested in checking out the extensive gallery for the series This is Georgiana (the term I use to collectively refer to all projects pertaining to Georgiana), head on over here: This is Georgiana Gallery.
Once I got over that hump, Listening to Georgiana was reborn.
Apologetically at the time, I started rewriting the story in the corners of my art school instead of attending class because I was struggling with my identity, my depression, and self-love. The only way I felt even remotely good about myself was when I was writing.
And this was true even when I was in a state university.
I was always in a library during my college years writing over and over again the story of Georgiana… the story of me really.
And thus was born Are You Listening, This is Georgiana, the working title of what would become Listening to Georgiana.