I’m unpacking (mentally and physically) from the 3-day ComicCon, and I’ve got a lot of cool photos to share from it. For now, I’ll mention a fun little aside that came from it.
One of the best things about conventions is meeting other people. I’m not so good at the “walking up and making small talk” thing, but I really really enjoy one-on-one connections, and a booth gives you a great chance for that.
So the first day of the Con, a guy named Kenneth Rocafort walked up and said he enjoyed my artwork, and that he had a table set up in the Artists’ Alley, and also that he works for Marvel or something. No big deal. 😛 He talked about how much he loves drawing in sketchbooks and tries to just draw a little every day. Then he pulled out his little tiny sketchbook, and I was blown away:
He said he tried to keep it loose, just whatever he felt like doing every day, just to keep his creative brain going. He has a Tumblr, and has just started posting his daily doodles on Instagram.
It reminded me (in a different way) of the sketchbook diaries I used to do, ages ago…
And although I draw every day ANYway, I thought that was a good habit to get back into; maybe carrying a little book around, and not making it so “precious.” Just drawing whatever I wanted, just for fun.
My friend Annie had come to the show to help with my booth, and–inspired by Kenneth’s tiny sketchbook–brought a little sketchbook, and was asking artists to draw in it. Usually artists at conventions will do this for a fee, but some will do it just for the fun of doing it.
Since we had watched Mad Max: Fury Road in 3D at her house the night before, I drew her a little Furiosa and Nux to kick things off:
Later, I added a Ron Perlman (since we were going to meet him for a photo later):
When we met him for the photo, we were ushered in there, snapped, and then ushered out. The whole thing took about two minutes (if that). I didn’t get a chance to show him the Hellboy drawing that Myla and I had done, or the drawing I did of him as One from one of my all-time favorite movies, City of Lost Children. But I DID get this derpy photo of me, unready for the camera, surprised at how normal-sized he was (I imagined 9 feet tall, at least), and making the most unintentionally goofy face, while everyone else looked great:
(I mean, what is that face? Really? Where is my neck? I don’t think I’ve ever even made that face before. I didn’t even have time to be awestruck or anything, so that face was more of a “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS”…..)
The day after the convention, my mom and I went to the craft store, and I found these cool little watercolor sketchbooks on sale, and thought I’d try one.
It was longer & thinner, which would make for a more awkward drawing space, which I found to be a fun challenge. That night, while my mom & I watched movies, I doodled Myla and some autumn moths in a pair of antlers.
Anyway, I liked the sketchbook so much, I went back and got more because they were on sale and they were trying to get rid of them. So don’t try to find them at the store in Killeen, Texas, because they’re all gone, I got them. I couldn’t help it, and I don’t even really feel bad about it at all, because they’re awesome, and there weren’t very many of them anyway. Sorry.
My mom had been giving herself a “drawing a day” challenge to get back into her own artwork, and bought she and my dad one, hoping to get him on board. I know another friend, who does amazing things with those drawing prompt books… (I’m talking about you, Kendyl…) I bought one of those books one time, and only ever drew one thing in it: a bulldog in a monocle. So there’s also that.
I drew Tuna from @tunameltsmyheart…do you know Tuna? His little face makes me smile. Anyway, there was a contest or a thing about drawing him, and this is what I drew. Because: TEETH. Tuna is all about that mug.
I wanted to draw more faces, so I drew a page of Rosanna Arquette….because why not? She’s got a cool face, cool lines, and her face always tells a great story…
Apparently, though, she saw it on Instagram and didn’t really like it….
And that’s okay, because you know what? I didn’t draw it for her, I drew it for me. I love her lines, and if she’s not comfortable with my version of her lines, that’s alright with me. (sniff). Of course, I’d have loved her to love it, but the thing that makes me enjoy making art is not whether or not someone else likes or doesn’t like it…even someone famous.
Because I learn from each one, and that experience is inexchangeable (that’s a word I just created. You’re welcome to use it). I learn something new and nonverbal each time I doodle, and that’s why the end result doesn’t matter. I used to hate people to look through my sketchbook if it was full of false starts. I wanted to say, “NO! I’m better than that wonky eye I scratched out!”
But it doesn’t matter. I HAD to draw that wonky eye to learn. All the struggles, all the mess-ups….at least it’s a STEP, right? You have to make those mistakes to show yourself, “nope. That’s not the way. Let’s try this way.”
So don’t be afraid of criticism or judgement. Don’t take that criticism seriously. They’re looking at the front steps without walking into the house. It gets better the further you go. You just have to PRACTICE it….
So here’s to new sketchbooks–hooray!
Oh my goodness, those sketchbooks are all just so scrumptious. They are like little art galleries you can fit in your pocket. Your sketches are more detailed and wonderful than my finished pieces could even hope to be. Fab. You have also given me an idea: my middle two sons love to go to Comic Con so maybe next time they go they can take their sketchbooks with them and draw some of the people they observe. Great post.
An inspiring post! I’m going to draw something in my sketchbook today and make it a habit!
I thought that was a lovely response from Rosanna Arquette. Your art creates an emotional response. Success. Now, if I could just be as brave as you at letting others see my art.
Love reading your posts…wonderful art!! Wish I could have visited you at the Con 🙂 Still thinking about what I want to have for my drawing 🙂 my husband is a bit like Rosanna Arquette, very self conscious about how she’s portrayed.. Me on the other hand…I love seeing what people do 🙂 So I’m thinking maybe me and my dogs…but kinda wanted to do my husband and myself…for the 10 years we’ve been together…thoughts??
Nicola Beeson | Artist
Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time. -Dali Lama
The pieces were beautiful. I’m not particularly good at it, but I do enjoy a good brush srtoke every now and then, but absolutely hate it when someone accidentally finds my sketchbooks because it contains the most horrible versions of the stuff I’ve drawn. But you’re right, they were necessary, nothing to be ashamed of.
I just love seeing your black and white drawing of Ron Perlman with his asymmetrical eyes and right below it his photo with the very same wonky eyes. You totally nailed his unique qualities. Love reading your blog and seeing your drawings.
What a very insightful and inspirational post! I’ve been trying to get back on track with making consistent sketches myself. I’ve never been much of a doodler, but I think it’s good exercise to stretch the brain; especially to help me be more free about drawing. Comic Con sounded fun. I can’t wait to finally go to the San Diego one someday.
You are such an inspiration. I admire your work so much…so unique exotic and lavish!
Ah, great blog! This is what I am trying to teach myself: it’s all about not being afraid to mess up! When painted more often, I would find myself being afraid to put the first brushstroke to the canvas! How silly! You can paint over it! Duh! —now after my creative side being dormant so long, I find myself doing the same thing! I don’t like anyone to see what I am doing until it’s finished! It actually makes me anxious, and sometimes (unreasonably) mad! I was so bad, that a student of “Commercial Art” (this term is long outdated), I did not do ONE (that I remember) piece if art work IN class! All done at home in the dorm …I goofed off in class, or doodled, the truth is, I really wasn’t that good, just OK. But that really doesn’t matter! I loved it, it was part of me. I learn new things (still) everyday, and I learn from, and inspired by you! (Fun, and nice to be able to learn from your kids!)-Your blogs help me reinforce what I am trying to learn! Thanks!
Fun! I JUST ordered and received a tiny journal (3.5 inches by 4.5 inches) from this etsy seller. All the pages are different, and it’s so perfect for little quick little daily hand lettered statements/feelings/thoughts and doodles. I LOVE it! I think it’s going to go everywhere with me. https://www.etsy.com/shop/badbooks?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav