Thursday night someone who humbles me with the amount of effort he's invested in me, asked me point blank why I draw.
In a one-line nutshell:
But there's a bigger answer, too. It starts like this: Michael Gerber once came to speak to us at the Record and said something incredible. Although he was speaking to a room of writers, the sentiment extends to artists of any sort. He said,
As another preface, I also recommend listening to Chris Ware's intro segment on This American Life, which is incredibly relevant to me, as is his Jimmy Corrigan book, too.
So why do I draw? This is an overshare in no particular order:
-I can't talk to people, but want to, and drawing is the most comfortable way for me to open up since I don't know how to approach people otherwise
-I can't do anything else; I need to get better so I can be a pro because I'm not cut out mentally or physically to do any other kind of work
-I hope to become famous so that people will have to come to me (fans into friends into more), and I won't have to do any of the nerve-wracking socializing work
-I'm in control of more through drawing than through anything else
-I can safely be as fictitious or true as possible
-I can break ice or introduce myself passively in frightening group settings
-I can retreat behind it when I'm nervous or uncomfortable
-I can express my opinion without rudely imposing on people
-I can assert or defend my self-worth through others' approval
Whenever there was show and tell in elementary school, I always brought in artwork. That's how I used to get people to talk to me without having to start up a conversation.
I like to joke that I'm the only person who could lose a popularity contest to himself, since I always assume I'm pretty boring, but if for some reason you do want to get to know me, please know that I really dislike beginning conversations and usually need others to take the initiative.
The thing is, though, when people do approach me, it really weirds me out, and then I begin wondering why they are talking to me, which invariably kills the conversation. But please know that I don't mean to, I'm just that bad at socializing and need practice and patience. Even if it's something important to me, I'd rather write an email than talk to someone.
So the take-away here is that I am probably scared of you and have difficulty initiating and maintaining conversations, relationships, or anything else beyond myself. And so I rely on drawing to help me interact and relate with humans.
Thanks for your time, patience, and support,