Sunday, May 06, 2012

A funny thing happened on the way to uni


Here's a quick story that happened to me while I was drawing people on the train sometime back in the first few months of 2011. 

It all started with this drawing.

I know, I know, this drawing sucks.
You don't have to tell me.
Just look at those foreheads.

I probably wouldn't have let you see this drawing,
(or who knows, maybe I would've kept going with it and it might've gotten a bit better)
except that as I was drawing it a guy leaned his head over my shoulder and said
"Aw that looks fresh as man, sick stuff. I'm a tattooist too".

The guy was pretty gangster, and so naturally I went along his tattooist assumption.
"Yeah cool. Where do you do it?" I asked.
"Oh just by myself, my bro gets me the ink".
I forget what I said next but after that he got real excited and he tells me
"Hey you should draw me and her".

This was the first point that I turned completely around, and I saw that he was with somebody.
"Uh I don't know man" I said.
"Na carn bro, just pretend you don't know us, and just draw us like you did those guys, it'll be mad"
He was getting louder, and I didn't want him to get the attention of the guy I'd already drawn as he was a big tough guy as well,
and so I decided the only thing to do was draw them.
"Yeah ok" I said.

I moved seats so I was facing them and got out a new piece of paper.
They were getting off at Ringwood so I only had two and half stations to do it.
It was a really weird situation.
This wasn't train drawing anymore, it was just straight up portraiture, the job of one of those charcoal sketch artists you see on the streets in the city.
Like this woman on Swanston Street.
Back at the time that this was happening I'd only really just started drawing people, and I'd never shown anyone their drawing as rarely did the drawings look anything like the people I drew, and even rarer were the drawings flattering. (Not that a whole lot has necessarily changed since then).
But so I felt a lot of pressure. I needed to draw them both good looking, and even though they were bickering I definitely needed to draw them both looking happy.

The guy made it pretty clear that he also wanted the drawing to show them looking happy
and he kept yelling at the girl "Don't cross your arms!" and "Have good body language!"
I liked the guy. His excitement was contagious. But it didn't feel good drawing them when I'm pretty sure that she didn't want to be any part of it.
She was as uncomfortable as I was.
I tried to look at her as little as possible, and I made sure I didn't work on drawing her any more than I worked on drawing him.

Anyway so it got to Ringwood and I showed them what I'd done.
They both really liked it. They asked if they could have it and I sort of ummed and arred and they understood and had to get off in a rush. I should have gotten an email address and sent them a copy, but this was long time before I'd thought of doing something like that.
I was glad it was over, and I was also fairly pleased with what I'd produced out of that pretty intense situation. It could've been a lot worse.

Anyway that's the end of the story. I've never seen them again, and even if I did I doubt I'd recognise them. Maybe they'll recognise me if they ever see me drawing. 
And then I'll be able to send them to this blog.
And then we'll all meet up and give each other tattoos.
It'll be great, you should come.

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