This past week has been filled with lots of activity and I find myself somewhat reflective about it and other things. Things started last Saturday when I participated in Let’s Draw Davis!! A Sketchcrawl. I arrived about half an hour late but was surprised to see that a good amount of people had shown up – there were about a dozen of us. The first person I encountered was my friend and fellow artist Pete Scully who was already well into his first drawing of Davis Community Park. I greeted him and his wife and then wandered off to scout out a place to ensconce myself. I normally draw unsuspecting victims who are hunched over their laptops or sprawled out on couches at cafés so being at a community park was a little different for me. I sat next to a couple of ladies who were caught up in talk about pens and brands of sketchbooks; I thought about joining in but what would I say? I’m not on the lookout for different varieties of pens nor am I curious about other brands of sketchbooks. I know what I like and it works just fine for me, so I decided to keep quiet and just draw. After about forty-five minutes Pete and a few others had joined our little group to look at each others’ drawings. I didn’t have much to show; I had barely sketched the tree and scenery on the first image above – not a whole hell of a lot. Still, there was someone who seemed impressed by my tortoise like speed; “Oh, look at you. Wow, that’s really good,” bellowed a woman’s voice over my head. I didn’t respond as I felt that what I’d done wasn’t all that impressive. “Hey guy, I’m talking to you. Hey,” she said in a somewhat irritated voice. “Oh, thanks,” I said in most unenthusiastic manner. By this point it had gotten too cold for us to stay outside so we decided to move into the Davis Public Library.
As we walked over, my friend Marlene Lee and I spoke about earning a living as an artist and being successful. At one point in our conversation Marlene turned to me and asked, “Do you feel that you’re successful, Salvador? After a brief moment of thought I said, “I used to work at a job where I spent lots of time in a cubicle and now I spend my days drawing. If success is measured by happiness then I would say I’m pretty successful.” It wasn’t the first time that I’d been asked that question and I suspect it won’t be the last. For me “Success” is nothing more than a process. If you keep at it eventually you’ll get what you want. The end result depends on what your goals are to begin with. You have to be honest with yourself in the beginning so that you can be prepared for the road ahead. My main priority is and always will be to be free and to enjoy my work. Whatever else comes after that isn’t something that I worry about too much. As we neared the library entrance I said to Marlene, “In the end you have to believe that it can happen. If you don’t then there’s no point in going forward.”
Today was Thanksgiving; today I saw lots of postings on Facebook about what different people were grateful for and that’s good. I too am grateful for all that I have: my health, my wife, and the fact that I get to do what I most love on a daily basis. Gratitude is something that should be shown on a daily basis and not set aside for some specific date or time. I believe it’s important to begin every day by acknowledging this most important thing. Aside from this you should endeavor to be yourself and live your life as you wish without worrying about what others may think.