Once upon a long time in high school I had a fantasy about being an artist. It used to keep pace with my other fantasy of being a writer. I didn’t have any other professional goals – I fell into the field that employs me now almost by accident.
Even when I was buried in technology, I found time to write. I wrote on the train and at night, convinced that I had a story somewhere. Sometimes I fantasized about writing a comic book or finding a way to draw again, but art was something I bought, not something I did.
Then I signed up for a fateful workshop at a magical place – The Writer’s Project at Hubbard Hall led by Jon Katz and started a blog. The blog needed pictures, but I was too cheap to pay for other people’s photos and too busy to go out and take my own. It took me about 2 days to fall back on my tried and true solution to every problem with an expensive solution and revive a long-dormant drawing habit.
Acclimating to the badge of ‘real writer’ (anyone who writes), I remembered this girl who used to draw constantly. I wasn’t sure which outlet I should pursue, but our teacher said, “Do both.”
So I did both. The drawing, however, always seemed secondary. I admit to being intimidated by the amazing work I’d see in Facebook groups or other webpages and never considered myself in a similar league with ‘real’ artists.
It’s a bit of cognitive dissonance – I’ll never be another Chekhov, but I don’t need to be to think of a life as a good writer and a working one. But for some reason, I could never apply that logic to sketches. It was just a hobby, something to add color to the blog.
Saturday, I had lunch with friends after a short story class before getting ready to hit the publish button on a new story. Talk turned to publishing and selling artwork on the internet, and the group’s enthusiasm inspired me to voice a tentative desire to do the same. The other artists at the table are established in their fields, so, despite encouragement from this talented group, I was still a little dubious about trying to put together a book of my ‘work.’
Sunday, after clicking Publish for me and setting up a blog for Thing2, I was feeling a bit bolder and started sorting through scans of sketches from posts and some that hadn’t made it onto the blog. When I reached the year mark, there were almost 150 sketches in the pile. Labels and badges aside, art doesn’t just add cheap graphics to the blog. It -as much as writing – is the blog.