Monday, January 15, 2018
Here's a portrait study I did of that rootin' tootin' Texan, TJ "IvyLeaguePunk" Smith '10, complete with an ivy-laced background and little mini 'zas!
This started as a study to test out a new pencil brush I downloaded (man, what an excellent brush it turned out to be! It's like KNKL's chalk brush, only just a little more concentrated!), but cookie-mousedly, I felt compelled to continue working on it, and today we finally gave the piece its final few moments in the oven after its stint on the back burner--it looks like I did the initial lines early last month.
I've told pretty much all the TJ stories I know from college by now--Yale, like Harry Potter, has different "houses" (or "colleges," if you are of the civilized sort), and his (Morse? Stiles? Is there a difference? [There is not.]) was on the total opposite side of campus from mine (JE)--though I generally didn't "hang out" anyway--so we didn't interact too, too much, thus I mainly knew him through shows he'd do here and there, including off campus at a venue called "The Space," which I believe is still there, but renamed and re-skinned from its former nostalgia-ridden, arcade-y vibe. Anyway, it was always fun listening to his band, The Sandy Gill Affair, play, meanwhile I'd invariably be sketching as invisibly as possible in the audience somewhere. So many wonderful memories of listening to Yale bands and disappearing into a sketchbook. I'm pretty sure I was going deep on my official My Chemical Romance sketchbook in those days! That thing rocked.
Oh! Here's some TJrivia: he did a cover of Taking Back Sunday's "Timberwolves at New Jersey" once, that was pretty neat. Taking Back Sunday holds a special place in my heart because Louder Now was the last album I bought just before Yale, so that summer and especially that auspicious, mysterious flight--my first flight ever--is always associated with that album, and consequently so is that early, blissfully chaotic period of starting life anew at Yale. So it was really cool not only to find that someone at rap-centric Yale had heard of TBS, but even further, that they would be moved to perform their stuff! Does that count as a TJ story? I'm being told it does. Nice.
Anyway, it's been neat seeing TJ plug away at his projects these days. Lately he's focusing on streaming, which is admittedly hard to catch live (and to be perfectly honest, I loathe Twitch for how lag-prone I've found it to be way too often), so I'll have to go the binge route on YouTube, assuming that's still in the works (I gather there've been some issues with YT and creatives, so who knows). He also wrapped playing a crusty cap'n type on this limited series podcast called The Dark Ones, which was pretty cool and he was one of the strongest players, to boot. I'm eager to check out more of his stuff down the road. Down the rodeo? Cowboys, Texas, etc.