Subway sketches and homegrown authorism

Recently, I’ve been forcing myself to sketch people on the subway. (Forcing myself by not taking along my iPod or a book to read.)

Perhaps entirely unethically I don’t ask the people I’m drawing if I can draw them. Mostly, I suppose, they don’t know that I am drawing them.

Tonight, as I was coming home from campus, I was sketching this gentleman (the one on the right – 6/4/06). I suppose he rather quickly realized that I was sketching him — he even cooperated by holding position. He got off at Victoria Park station and as he was leaving (I was sitting right beside the door) he said, “Thank you.”

I was kind of embarassed, I just smiled back at him and showed the sketch to him. He smiled back and showed that he was pleased and then got off the train as the doors closed. I guess I should’ve said “Thank you,” but I was too flustered and embarassed to say anything.

But that was nice.

I suppose it may seem like my subjects are typically geriatric males. This isn’t the case, it just that they happen to sit in opportune places and/or there’s something in their faces — character — that makes me want to draw them. Most young people have these plain, bubble gum faces without any “character” — lines, for instance, their faces are rather smooth.

Having said that I do think it’s necessary that I draw all types of people.

On my way to campus today I stopped by the Coles bookstore in Scarborough Town Centre (as I often do, to read comics). There was a “meet the author” table set up in front. The author, Cecil Leslie, was standing behind the table with two stacks of his two books, business cards and bookmarks. After I finished reading the comics I went and spoke to him for a while about his novels.

Decadence is an updated, Toronto-fied version of Pygmalion or My Fair Lady, he said. And Water Colours is a Toronto-fied version of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (West Indian man, East Asian woman).

I noticed that the novels were publsihed by “Xlibris” — a self-publishing company. So after I got home tonight I looked up his novels on the web site (follow links above). I read some of the excerpts from his novels.

His writing isn’t exactly the greatest I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s really … er … not good at all. (In his defense, it appears he started writing Water Colours as a film script … that’s pretty much how it reads….)

All the same, I have to admire the man for pursuing this line and wish him the best of luck. I just hope for his sake that he doesn’t quite his day-job as a technical support analyst for TIFF. this!

2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    ashley said,

    June 4, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

    hey nomes….nice site. your a very talented artist. wow you read a lot of comics hehe…had a jolly good time browsin thru your site…keep it up.

  2. 2

    AA said,

    June 11, 2006 @ 2:46 am

    its a good thing to draw but do keep in mind that people might find it scary. i had a man try to sketch me once, in the subway, and he might have been thinking like you are. but it scared me. so much that i got off on the next stop as soon as i realized he was sketching me.

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