Those moments of inspiration...
October 1st is just around the corner and this month I am going to devote my stories to the moments in life that inspired me, or set me on some kind of new course. I'll start with my earliest moment that inspired me to draw.
I moved to Olympia, Washington in 1990 and the place couldn't have been more different from my Southern California roots. Olympia is an incredibly liberal town, hippies were everywhere, the creativity flowed and a raging alternative music scene was on fire here. I remember the long haired neighbor boy across the street standing out side telling me he discovered this new band named Nirvana at the state theatre downtown and they were so cool. He was adamant I listen to this. We were all hooked. It was like we were living in a bit of a bubble, detached from the rest of the country in the trees dripping with northwest raindrops. The creative vibe that flowed so steadily here ran a current right on into my high school. We had a pretty sick art department.
I vividly remember walking through the halls of my high school and was absolutely struck by these graphite drawings of peoples faces that were hanging everywhere. I thought, how was it that so many kids could draw like that? How do I get in on this? I must do this, I thought. I was always good at art and always playing around with art supplies growing up and I just became fixated on learning how to draw like these other kids! I took that drawing class with Mr. McKinnon, our teacher. He had a bit of an ornery side to him, but he was probably the best art teacher I ever had the opportunity to work with and I feel so lucky for that now. He set me on my path. His system for teaching drawing was dialed. We copied some of the drawings of the old masters, but they were upside down. We had to copy them upside down. He taught us to see the the shapes in things, not the object itself. We learned how to shade, render, blend. I got pretty good and I felt so successful. That whole experience motivated me to eventually go on to art school.
To this day, I can still see those drawings hanging in the hall of my high school. Brilliant blacks, whites and shades of gray. The paper moving ever so slightly as people walked by. Faces meticulously drawn, now flaws, perfection. I'm still trying to draw like those kids so many years ago. It is these moments in life, the ones that almost jilt us in a way, that set us on some new course of action. Think back to a vivid moment in your own life. What was it, how did it make you feel, where were you, who was with you, and how is that moment still playing a roll in your life now?
Be well, stay inspired, and rock on friends.