Hello? Is there anybody out there?
Welcome to my smidgin of the internet. In keeping with my credo of never being the first to try something new, yet never being the last, I decided it was about time to to throw my two cents into cyberspace. Some call this reluctance, some call it caution, I like to think of it as being courageously cowardly. Actually, I finally had a VALID EXCUSE that was not “everyone is doing it”. My inspiration was the recent rediscovery of the joy of drawing.
Early December of 2011, in classic grapevine revelation, my sister-in-law Harula mentioned to my wife Kristina who told me that my brother Pete apparently went to a monthly get together to sit around and just draw for 3 hours. Pete confirmed this was true, gave me the details, and I waited a couple weeks before the next session was announced. The sessions are held in an authentic artist studio (ie. a run down warehouse type of place in a neighborhood you would expect Batman to watch over… the kind of place in the movies that is simply called “the warehouse district” or “the docks” if there happened to be water nearby!) These sessions are about figure drawing, but with a fantasy/sci-fi theme, with costumes and all… right up my alley! The subject of the first meeting I went to was a Star Wars storm trooper. I enjoyed it so much, in the end i even jumped onto the pedestal to model some “action shots” of me smiting the poor imperial clone.
Suffice it to say, my passion/obsession with drawing was rediscovered. In grade school and high school I was a drawing fool. I would produce gobs of drawings every day. My God-brother Jim once remarked that his childhood memories of our family was “me playing outside with your brothers while you were on the couch drawing!”
Why did I ever stop? I only recently figured it out… I was working at the store full time in the summer, and found my first girlfriend! Bye-bye sketch pad! LOL!!!….
I did doodle a bit in college (majoring in architecture lends itself to that, duh!), but i never really got to draw fun stuff. Oddly enough, I hated drawing buildings (and still do). I did get to take a drawing class, which was fun, and a watercolor class, which was aggravating. My watercolor teacher, Cesar Romero (just like tv’s Riddler!) was always telling me “Its a brush! Stop using it like a pencil!”. Aside from a series of cartoons produced with my friends Eric and Jeff about one of our professors (Dr. Kim) being a James Bond-like assassin, I didn’t really draw much, at least very little survives from that time. Then I graduated, and got a job immediately and i was drafting all the cool things that the newly hired get to do in architecture, like adding notes, correcting notes, room finish schedules, and yes, the occasional chance to shine as a designer: interior elevations of school bathrooms.
Years passed and I finally was sick of architecture. When you hit a point where you rarely get to learn something new because you reach a level of management where you get little opportunity to be creative because your job is to keep other people busy and productive, its time for a change. I returned to the comforts of the family biz, and even got to design the new Andy’s and the first Brookhaven Marketplace. Those were fun again. Eventually it was back to work, marriage, kids… and time passed, and other outlets for creativity presented themselves. Building the furniture for our home library, constant redesign of our front and back yards, cooking, model making, dress up, dancing, and other fun stuff with my girls…. but this storm trooper drawing session did something to me.
I can not describe well enough the feeling of rediscovering something that once consumed your life after ignoring it for 15 years. Imagine not having chocolate or bacon or coffee or something so common place yet iconic and distinctive for so long, then getting a taste of it again…. the first thought that hits you is along the lines of “oh my god this shit is AWESOME!!!” Heh heh heh… I wound up going on a binge. I’m still on a binge. I have at least 15 years of drawing to catch up with!