Thursday, April 12, 2007

Back with a Vengence! (& a full sketchbook,too!)

I have returned from my Italian/Greek adventure & boy am I tired. My body still aches from all the driving, walking & ferry-riding I've been doing. My sleep track is still off. I've been waking up at 4:30 every morning since. I'll talk more about the trip in a future post.

Anyway, while I was overseas I brought a little sketchbook along for the ride. It's a small, black-covered Moleskine sketchbook like the one in this picture:

It's probably the best sketchbook I've ever had. Not only does it contain high-quality paper to draw on, an expandable pocket on the back cover & a elastic strap for protection (it also makes a handy pencil holster), but it's small enough to fit in my shirt pocket.

Out of the 50 pages the book holds, I filled up around 40-45 pages of it with doodles, scenes & caricatures, mostly straight out of my head. Nearly each page is littered with my little duck character that you may have seen in some of my earlier posts (he's basically me, but he's a lot easier to draw). Sadly, I don't draw from life very much. I gotta stray away from the ducks & start drawing what's around me.

If you ever want to become an artist, a sketchbook is a MUST HAVE! I bring one everywhere. Whether I'm at a diner, a party, the doctor's office, in the car, on a plane, at work, at school or just walkin' around town, I always have some paper & a pencil in tow. When my sketchbook is full, I bring a clipboard. When that's used up, I use index cards. When those are filled, I use Post-it's. I use whatever I can get my hands on.

Mark Kennedy recently made a few excellent posts on carrying sketchbooks over at his blog. It's definitely worth the read. I'll leave the "teachy" stuff to him, he's a better speaker than I am (besides, he has a lot more to say about it than I do).

Over the next few days, I'll post a few gems from my "passport" along with some unneeded commentary on what each drawing is about & what was going through my mind at the time. I'll make sure to weed out the crappy ones. Here are the first few. Enjoy!
This was the first drawing I drew in the book. It was about 2:30 in the morning & I couldn't sleep a wink. If only I could sleep like these guys are here, even if I was hanging out the overhead compartment. I wish I had the legroom they have here, too.

This one I fondly call "Red Tape". It basically summarizes all the shit I had to go through at the airport. These sketches represent how much I hate the airport & why I'll probably never fly anytime soon.

"The American Tourist"- this is probably why no Europeans take the US seriously. At least half the people I saw at the airport & on the plane looked like this (or at least partly so). Every American who goes on vacation (whether man, woman or child) has at least two things in common with the guy in this picture.

I got to Italy in one piece (at least I think so). Later on that day, my group & I walked into a currency exchange kiosk & right into an argument with the exchange clerk. For some reason, our tour guide was screaming bloody murder about changing dollars to Euros at a group discount or something like that. As this was going on, I sat down & drew this in my book. Because of the bickering, I never got to exchange money that day. (An added note, the clerk wore the same exact earrings, only they were about 5 times bigger).

I drew this sketch as I was waiting in line to get into the Vatican. We waited for about 2 hours, gave up, left the line & got Gelato instead of seeing his Holiness' domicile. Gelato: so fattening, so messy, so unhealthy... yet so delicious.

Eventually, we got to see the Pope two days later on Palm Sunday. As he drove by giving his blessings to the people, instead of thinking about Christianity & how this small feeble man is sacrificing himself for our faith, our hope & our religion, I thought about what kind of mileage the Popemobile got. Americans & their gas.

More to come tomorrow!

P.S. - I'll get back to the Rockman as soon as this is out of the way. I promise (I hope).


Anonymous said...

Awsome blog Mike. Will leave longer comments later. Sorry you had such a lousy trip.


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike,
Awesome blog. Cool sketches. I'll leave a longer comment later.