Friday, September 24, 2010

Little Walkers

There's a New Yorker magazine cartoon from the 1950s which I loved when I was young. It shows a man watching tiny figures walk out of a storefront. The caption is something like, "I just wound them up, and gave them their freedom." I can't find this in the New Yorker cartoon archive, but I know it was there. So here I was in the Tysons Corner Mall, and I just found the little walkers, wound them up and gave them their freedom to walk around the Mall and consume stuff. Meanwhile, I drew them as the strolled to and fro. They were all races, colors, creeds, genders, ages, and nationalities. There were pretty ones and not so pretty ones. Unlike elves or fantasy figures, they didn't have perfect posture, big muscles, other big endowments, or gigantic weapons the size of highway signs. They didn't know I was drawing them.

I must draw people. I must draw them both real and idealized. For some reason, I have become severely hesitant about drawing any human figures. I guess I know what the reason is, that is, I've been looking at the figure drawings in deviantART and feeling overwhelmed with how good even the silly manga copies are compared to the stiff, ugly humanoid figures I try to draw. As I've said so many times, I have never succeeded in drawing a graceful human figure or a pretty girl. I need to learn. I am not sure that endless drawing of weary, saggy, grungy art models in a dimly lit studio will help me draw as well as the comic book and conceptual artists at deviantART. How did they learn? I just bought two new books about drawing people, starting from stick figures on up. Right now I need to draw more people. And pretty pin-up girls. Please wind me up and give me my freedom.

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