Friday, April 6, 2012

My Ass

In my first week at Max the Mutt, I was caught by one of the security guards in the mall around the corner: he wanted to see what I was doing. At that moment, I was still sneaking around, trying to sketch people without being noticed myself, which is exactly the behaviour which triggers the alarm bells of those responsible for public security. We had a nice chat about school and life in general, and I somewhat reluctantly showed him my sketchbook, which was at that point filled with 'blind contours' and very rough 'gestures', exercises which are more about the drawing process than about anything else. He tried to say something nice, but his blank stare suggested he was thinking something else.

It became a habit over the past three and a half years. I returned almost every day to try to catch human nature in all its beauty, peculiarity, ugliness, flirtyness, playfulness, whateverness. For almost two years, it was strictly technical for me, and I did my sketching as the bodybuilder pressed his kilogrammes, the pianoplayer plays his scales and the athlete runs his circles, for the sole purpose of getting better at it. And only after two years did I get some satisfaction out of it, finding pleasure in the occasional nice drawing.

I have started to wrap it all up. I am building my final portfolio, and there will be pages from my sketchbook in it. When I took some time scanning them, I realized I do not really care which ones to put in: they are not all good, but there are so many of them that I do like. A quick estimate suggests I have been doing about 20 quick studies a day for more than two years, for a grand total of more than 14000 quick studies.

Today I spent some time in a coffee shop around the corner, sketching my coffee away. A lady spent some time watching me, bent over and said: "You're good, you're really talented" I had just completed sketch number 14001. Talented, my ass...

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