I didn’t plan the character to be a ninja, in fact I had very little understanding of what a ninja was, until recently. I draw spontaneously – always have. I scribble and swipe and then I look to see what’s there. The elements evolve through my interpretation of the marks on the paper. When I looked at the character, a figure enclosed in black clothing, looking slick and fit, and to all the world like a disciplined human, ready to cope with anything, the word ninja arose. I researched and discovered that the word derives from the Japanese characters Nin and Ja, whose names, according to Merriam-Webster initially meant Persevere and Person. The ninjas practiced the martial art known as Ninjitsu which was described as the art of stealth or the art of invisibility. 

If my character has anything at all to do with ninjas it is that it was able to survive its childhood, and much of its adult life, thanks to emotional stealth and the art of knowing when to become invisible, especially when in the company of authority figures – especially men.

The character is under no illusion whatsoever, that they resemble the highly skilled, highly disciplined, courageous real ninjas, it is much more about the masks and costumes we employ in order to disguise the terrible anxiety beneath: The more impressive the disguise, the greater the heap of fear inside it.