Sep 11, 2013

Oasis



Manhattan is not known for its water fountains. They are few and far between. I'm not sure I would even drink out of one. Near my office in Tribeca, there happens to be a fountain, and a strange looking one at that. My intent was to draw the entire fountain but I misjudged and ended up cropping it off. I liked the composition better anyway. As I sat there, tons of people kept coming up to me to ask for directions. There was a lot of other folks sitting around doing nothing. They could have asked any of them for directions instead of me because I was the only one who was busy. Maybe for some reason, my sketchbook lent me a kind of credibility. Because I was drawing, somehow I became the direction authority. A young girl sat next to me and started to chat. She said she'd left art school and wasn't going to pursue her dream of a career in art. Now she was studying computer engineering. Drawing was something she loved but stopped doing it. I told her that her job did not have to define who she was. She can still have art be a major part of her life even if she worked in a bank or a bakery. Nothing would stop me from doing the amount of artwork that I do, no matter what. This simple bit of advice seemed to stun her. She told me she was going to retake her sketchbooks with her wherever she goes now. I told her to throw away her pencil and just work with a pen. Also not to over think things. Just draw the first stupid thing you see. Spend your time drawing and not thinking about what to draw. Look at me, I'm drawing dumb garbage cans and manhole covers. She laughed at that but understood my point. While most people were asking me directions to specific addresses. She was asking me for directions in her life. Luckily, she came to the right person.

14 comments:

Rod MacGregor said...

Drawing is a meditation!

kane said...

It's also hard friggin work.

Joe Nevin said...

Drawing can be harder than herding squirrels.

Rene Fijten said...

Terrific story and a beautiful drawing. It doesn't get much better than that does it?

AmyN said...

A few months ago when I was drawing I had a girl stop by and tell me how she stopped drawing because her parents said there wasn't any money in it. She is now a bartender. I told her that I had a "real job" too and that she should go get a sketchbook and a pen and start again. I do it for myself. For my sanity. Don't make such a big friggin deal of it. I hope she listened to my advice, and that this girl listened to yours.

Joe Nevin said...

Just watched Tommy's Youtube short film of Peru. It's a must watch. The colourful people, animals, plants and magnificent architecture are spectacular.

I take it the guy dancing about on the train wearing a yellow wig isn't the director?

kane said...

I will post it soon

Bob Mrotek said...

"I'm drawing dumb garbage cans and manhole covers."

Tommy, I would rather look at one of your fantastic manhole covers than I would a Picasso or a Rembrandt...er, uh, welll, maybe not a Rembrandt :)

kane said...

Rembrandt ate manhole covers for lunch

Ken Foster said...

Great story. That's what I like about you blog - great drawings, great stories... sort of a twoferone kinda sketchblog.

Keith Haluska said...

Great post, Tommy!
The story in this one is as strong as the drawing - nice work!

Run Lori Run said...

Ages ago I decided against an art degree in favor of the lucrative options available to students with bachelor's degrees in sociology. I reluctantly took up art again last year after getting over my embarrassment that I was 40 years old and trying (earnestly) to draw stuff-- my Starbucks cup, my cat, my remote... Your advice is solid. I should write it in sharpie on my arm...

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