Monday, May 7, 2007

A little story



A free demo is a drawing done at no charge to the customer, but they are left with the option to buy it if they want. I was drawing one of these to loosen up on a blustery Tuesday. I did the drawing with a Prismacolor marker, rather fast and was very experimental. I wasn’t too happy with the result, but it was just a demo. While I was finishing up, a family came up and my coworker got the sketch. It seemed they were getting all their sketches done individually, so that left me open to drawing for them. The mother made a comment.
She told her son, “You can sit for him if you want. He does them for practice.”
I said, “No. I do the real ones too.” There was a pause.
“Okay. You can have a seat. I’ll do a demo.


The sketch came out okay, but it was a bit hideous and wonky. I stood up, leaving the drawing on the board and thanked the kid for his time. They ended up buying the demo, and once again, I didn’t hustle the family, though I should have. I just really didn’t feel like drawing a family that was enjoying my coworker’s horrible sketches so much. It was an arrogance thing on my part -- arrogance and a lack of inspiration. I stood, facing the passing crowd, watching the palm trees bend as I waited for the next family. Occasionally I would walk to my coworker’s eisel and watch him draw.
Then, something very unusual happened. Something that in my two years of doing this has never happened. The mother got my attention and said to me, “Sorry for the comment I made. I wasn’t trying to say that he’s a real artist and you’re a fake artist I just thought maybe you’re in training or something.” I smiled, looking at her kind of shocked. I said. “No. That’s okay” and suddenly felt like I had been moping pathetically. Too often I feel like the customers are in charge of the situation and we’re just their servants who draw for them when they wish, but actually it’s our job to take control and give them a memorable experience and a sweet drawing.
The woman said, “Well, why am I waiting for him? Will you draw me?”
“Sure.” I answered, and we walked to my eisel. That’s when I did a horrible drawing. Everything was in it’s right place, and all I had to do was come correct. I hate that feeling when I’m about one tenth into a color body drawing, and the face I’ve sketched is just worthless. Now there’s no motivation to put any finesse into the surroundings and the coloring.
On top of that, I had a real good rapor going with the woman, but I felt like I was a little kid she was comforting. Turns out what the woman does is she’s a life coach. I’m sure that has everything to do with everything. Before she spoke to me, when I was standing around, attempting to mope inwardly, she was picking up on those vibes. Our brief relationship was one of her being overly sensitive to me, believing that I’m a fragile soul and me feeling really awkard about that and in response trying to act confident and stable.
In spite of all this, I’m so grateful for her. She was one customer in a million. I can still see her sitting there, being wonderful while I, on the other side, was finishing this horrible drawing which would be her reward. And of course she’s going to act like she loves it whether she does or not. She’ll see the good in it if anyone will. We artists always have those types of regrets.
That’s my story. The moral has to be something like, don’t feel sorry for yourself or eventually someone else will and then you’ll give them a crappy drawing too. Give me a critique, Matt McBrien. dot dot dot.

4 comments:

MariaBolton.com said...

Dude. This is an awesome story. How nice!!! That's awesome. BTW: Youre work is aaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwweeesome!!! HOLLA :)

nELS├ľN! said...

Aaron that was a great story man, i always the same opinion when i finish a gig and have to say no because it was that last drawing :( makes us feel bad just using that two letter word "no"?

Me! said...

is good story yes, now post more yes. thank you.

Matt McBrien said...

I'm a little late on replying, but here it is. Great post. I like me all dem words.