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The Curse

November 25, 2010

To my fellow cartoonists, I pose a question? Has this ever happened to you? Say you are at a social gathering of one kind or another and you start to draw. Inevitably, someone comes up tp you and asks to see what you are working on. You stop what you are doing(focusing) and reluctantly let some stranger or relative paw up your sketchbook with thier dirty hands. They “ooh” and “aah” for a little bit and then they all say the same thing: “I wish I could draw like that!”. Back then, when this story was playing out, my usual answer would have been “I wish I didn’t have this talent. Then I could go on with my life and just be normal Joe Shmo.”. I felt that way for a long time, that my talent was cursing me with over sensitivity and if I could just somehow not draw or think creatively I might be able to beat the anxiety and depression that was ruining my life. These days, however, I am glad that I have this talent! I feel lucky as hell that I view life differently than most people. But now my life is full of love and support, and I think that makes all the difference.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 2:11 pm

    That happened to me in the Navy a lot. I eventually just stopped drawing for about a year.

  2. November 25, 2010 2:56 pm

    That happens all the time, especially on the odd times when I can draw something at school. The kids will comment on how good the drawing is and wish they could do that. My patented answer is always “Practice and work at it like I did, and you will be able to turn out work like this or even better than me.” I have yet to have any of them follow that advice.

  3. November 25, 2010 6:07 pm

    What frustrates me is when someone sees you draw something cool, and then they think you know how to draw EVERYTHING. At cons especially, I’ve been asked to draw superheroes I’ve never even heard of. I’m embarrassed I don’t know who it is, and I’m not good at drawing realistic ‘muscley’ types.

    I want to say, “Look kid, THIS is what I draw, take it or leave it!”

  4. Paul   Lampland permalink
    November 26, 2010 3:51 am

    Gee… I thought that was MY curse. As artists are temperment is such that we are our own worst critic. I hear what people say and I either downplay it, because I have trouble accepting complements, and at the same time, I know how the work I just did falls short of MY expectations. I think, fine… but what do you know? Anyway, it might be nice to hear encouragement, but what are you supposed to do with that. In the days when I was a young aspiring cartoonist, I had no clue how, where, etc., I was supposed to promote my work. Now with the internet, it is alot easier to put yourself out there. I gave up when I started smoking cigarettes, and drinking too much. Now I am sober and trying something new. But I wish I had kept up, or had the time to devote to drawing. I enjoyed your story about the crackhead.

  5. Roe-K permalink
    November 29, 2010 4:55 pm

    …it takes all kinds and the ability to know that there isn’t a ceiling and you have plenty of time.

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