Friday, September 08, 2006

Redraw of a Rejection: Pleasing Myself

So I'm in Hell. It fells like I'm drawing for the first time. Totally lost, totally strange and weirdness and fear. I can't do it! Or can I? It's such an act of the imagination, and so pleasurable when successful, and so miserable when not. I keep saying I won't draw the old way, the cute uninspiring stuff which everyone seems to LOVE. I'd rather go back to driving a TRUCK, or just sail away and draw what I like. Besides, I just got a certified letter from the IRS, saying they're gonna take my assets. Lovely. What to do? Keep at it, I guess. I'm changing my diet, so I'll have more energy. ... Anyway, so I'm redrawing all my old pictures, and just now was redrawing this rejection, that same semi-exaggerated "Aaron" drawing which I thought was nicely extreme and yet cute, but even that was returned! As all this was going through my head, and I'm drawing the new Aaron (see attached PHOTO), I'm also listening to a Key West rock station on the Internet, and heard this:

Garden Party. Remember that song? Ricky Nelson, 1972, after his glory years. It's about a bitter experience he had when he performed at a Madison Square Garden event. He had wanted to play his new songs, which were a kind of a country rock, but the AUDIENCE just wanted the sweet popular hits from his younger years. It's a perfect comparison to my current state of heart.
Some lyrics:
"Played them all the old songs, thought that's why they came
No one heard the music, we didn't look the same
I said hello to "Mary Lou," she belongs to me
When I sang a song about a honky tonk, it was time to leave" (The crowd actually booed Nelson at this point.)
And the last verse:
"If you gotta play at garden parties, I wish you a lotta luck
But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck"
And the famous chorus:
"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself"

Wow, that might be it. I please myself in my art, and that art will please some, but not all. I use my imagination. I take risks. I fail and fail, but sometimes am successful, and that is so so sweet. But can I do it quickly and not starve? We'll see.


Steve said...

Tim, fully understand what your going thru man! But you really do not have any issues with your art, cute or otherwise, just do it!

Pag said...

I've got loads of family crap on my shoulders:( Just draw however the hell you want--if they don't like it..screw em!

Tim Gardner said...

Well, to be honest, I don't like the feeling I get when I'm thinking "just screw 'em." I've tried that, as defense mechanism, and I get a really bad feeling. A lot of artists who simply draw the same generic face over and over do this "screw 'em" attitude, I'm guessing (or they actually believe that such generic repetition IS what a caricautre is supposed to be). And I think some of the exaggerated-style artists may think the same way. I want patrons to UNDERSTAND what's going on, especially with exaggeration, and a lot of them do. Just yesterday, I did an extreme exaggeration, and someone said, "Now THAT is a caricature." Well said.