Some Thoughts on Drawing (with Childhood Drawings)

When I was a kid I only drew for myself.

Often this was a lot of Michael Jordans (Michaels Jordan?).

But is that really true, or am I just romanticizing being a kid?

I drew to impress kids at school. I’d get requests for different Pokemon. It was a performance.

I have no idea what the joke is here:

But! I was watching a lot of x-treme nineties cartoons, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Street Sharks. Maybe I was learning the wrong lessons about what worked about these premises.

People love turtles eating pizza and sharks rollerblading, so wait until they see a shark eating a popsicle, is a thought I can imagine myself having.

And the more I think about it, the less I feel like I ever “only drew for myself.”

Sure, drawing can feel like a trance. Sometimes I feel my pen touching the outline of whatever it is I’m drawing. Sometimes I feel the weight of what I’ve put on the page. I find the joy that can only come from an accident of my hand moving a centimeter north of where I meant it to go. In these moments, I am getting something from drawing qua drawing. Usually this happens when I draw from life. I can never plan it.

More often, drawing is a means to an end. I feel self-conscious when I speak. I don’t trust my words on a page. Pictures help me say what I mean.

Here’s one I can’t crack. My best guess is Pikachu on a snowboard.