I love the fact that there is always something or someone to draw – always. Rarely have I felt myself without a subject to put down on the page. Everywhere I go, there they are – they’re everywhere: a hottie sitting at Starbucks talking to her friend about getting drunk at some party, the beautiful girl sitting quietly on the couch at Empresso coffeehouse reading a book, the guy with the weird haircut at the restaurant. There’s also architecture and immaculate landscaping at the local university and the feeling of being overwhelmed by loud obnoxious techno music at a local bar. The world is a never ending three ring circus. In this case, I chose to draw a beautiful woman, Chef Amanda Freitag from Food Network’s Chopped. Luckily, I was able to freeze a still from a past episode on my iPhone. Yeah, I admit it, sometimes technology can be pretty cool. Sometimes.
For me, nothing beats the visceral feeling of my pen scratching ink onto the page in my sketchbook. The human touch and the subtleties that it brings along with it is something that technology cannot and will not replace. I guess that makes me old school or stubborn, or perhaps a bit of both. I’ve been drawing with the same type of pens for 30 years – I’m just starting get the hang of the damn things! As long as I am able to draw and as long as they make Rapidograph pens, I will continue to carry a sketchbook and pens with me wherever I go.
These days, I’m feeling a sense of freedom in what I’m drawing that I hadn’t experienced before. When you’re young and fresh out of school you want people to like what you do, and more importantly, buy your work. Because of that, you end up doing things that compromise you as an artist. More often than not, I’ve had to deal with half-baked ideas from people who over art-direct me to the point where I feel like there’s nothing left for me to do. Oh God, and the crap that I’ve been asked to do: clowns, hawks in cowboy boots, hideous illustrations for promo posters based on ideas that were originally interesting, work so big that it could only ever fit in the Louvre – man, they put you through the wringer! Jeez, it makes me sick just thinking about it. Thankfully I’ve managed to develop a real prima donna attitude over the last 20 years. Nowadays I wouldn’t be caught dead doing any of the lame crap that I did when I was in my twenties – no siree Bob, it’s just not going to happen. After all these years, I have no qualm selling my work for big bucks. Hey, after five years of art school and twenty five more of toiling away in anonymity I deserve to earn some real cashola for all my hard work. The true prize of all this is being able to do whatever I want and not caring about what anyone thinks about it. I say, have a good time all the time. How many people can say that they live life on their own terms?