Monday, February 20, 2012

The joy of sketching

If there is one thing about school I'm taking seriously, then it is my sketchbook: I have a strong feeling that everything I learn boils down to the ability to capture life as we know it, in the shopping mall, in the coffee shop, on the streets, wherever, whenever, however.

My teachers have always stressed the importance of sketching every day, and through the years, they have been increasingly positive and encouraging about my sketchbook. That is not to say I am satisfied about my skill level, but it merely suggests I am on the right track. My teachers keep telling me about that one lucky student that was hired by an animation studio, just because he was found sketching every day in Union Station. You never know.

Today I was sketching at the Starbucks, right opposite a man who had a somewhat peculiar build, with a matching pose, more hanging than sitting with his body weight resting on his sacrum, and his arms folded as in spasm. Now, I am always interested in awkward poses, silly walks and wicked proportions, but the whole figure felt so uneasy that I directed my energy towards the other coffee addicts. I ignored the man, but soon felt he was not exactly ignoring me. You never know.

He kept a stealthy eye on me, glancing over the edge of his laptop screen, and looked away whenever my eyes crossed his. After a while, he stood up and walked to a display behind me, and in the reflection of the window I could see he was now looking over my shoulder, looking at my drawings. Without saying a word, he returned to his table, to continue our little game of cat and mouse. You never know.

When I stood up and put on my coat, I saw him hesitating. I decided to take a little longer to dress up, and to put away my drawing implements. After all, you never know.

The man stood up, walked up to me to introduce himself and compliment me for my sketchbook. At least, that was what I had expected. "I saw you drawing, and... ah... well...did you draw me?" I told him I had not, but before I could even feel sorry about the missed opportunity, he continued: "Are you sure?" Yes, I was. It all ended with a harsh: "Good, because I don't want anyone to draw me, under no condition, understood?" Well, you never know.