Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pen and Think

This might ramble a bit, because I have to get used to writing again.

Susan told me a long time ago that she likes my birds.

I don't think I was conscious of drawing many birds until Susan told me she liked them. It's a chicken or egg thing. Maybe I was drawing them a lot before but hadn't noticed or maybe her noticing them made me draw them more. Either way, when I think about the fact that I draw birds a lot, I think about how Susan pointed it out to me.

The fact of the matter is, I'm not very self-conscious about drawing. As I've said before, it's kind of a day-dreamy intuitive exercise for me; "thinking" usually gets in the way.

That said, I've been self-consciously talking about my drawing a lot lately.

A month-and-change or so ago, Dean Haspiel came over to my apartment and we talked for a little over an hour about my work and my process and the unique set of circumstances that moved me forward as someone who attempts to make a living by drawing. Then--early last week--I got to listen to our conversation as a pod-cast over at Trip City.

And then, because I liked it, I listened to it again. And then a few other people who listened to it kept referencing it in conversations. And that made me super self-conscious. But it was good self-conscious, I guess.

And then I spent the latter part of the week in Saginaw, Michigan as a guest artist at the American College Theater Festival's Region III events where--in addition to being inspired and humbled by amazing students, faculty and other guest artists--I ended up doing a talk on my work and my process and the unique set of circumstances that moved me forward as someone who attempts to make a living by drawing. And I got really self conscious. But it was good self-conscious, I guess.

After my talk, a woman whom I assume was a faculty member came up to me and said she had a question, but she didn't. She told me she used to draw all the time and she got pretty good at it by the time she was twenty, but then she stopped and had wondered why she didn't do it any more. And I said everyone can draw but people stop because they come to think drawing is something special that only special people do. My questioner who still hadn't asked a question told me that she was thinking of drawing again and that if the drawings looked like a child's drawings, that would be a good thing probably. I told her that she should just draw if it made her happy and she agreed that she probably should. That's when she said she guessed she didn't really have a question.

At a party the other night, I told John I was going to start blogging again and that I had stopped because when I blogged before, it was usually because I was lonely and was secretly trying to find someone, But then I joined a band and met Laura and got opportunities to draw and share my work and I didn't have the time or need to blog so much. And he said being happy kills the artistic impulse. And that annoyed me like it does every time he says it because I think being a generally happy human being can lead to good art. I am not a romantic about misery, although I've put in my fair amount of time playing the part.

Anyway, I like drawing birds. I'm glad Susan pointed it out even though it changed things afterwards. I don't mind statements where the questions are implied. And, despite the fact that I am pleased by the sound of my own voice, I mostly just like to draw. Especially birds.


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