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I drew constantly when I was younger. I drew mostly from books; mostly from other people’s drawings or paintings. I loved Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, M.C. Escher and these visual encyclopedias of animals we had in the house.  I was originally drawn to these things because of the way they looked, and, looking back, I was exposing myself to a pretty awesome range of skills. I absolutely treasured the Calvin and Hobbes and Far Side books, all of which are still on my bookshelves today. I would spend hours and hours copying from their pages – literally until my eyes hurt from looking so hard. I loved the comic book style of Bill Watterson, the simple line drawings of Gary Larson, and the insane technical, mathematical renderings of Escher.

As I got older there was less and less copying from books. As you get older you learn to draw from life; still-life’s, landscapes, models. After you’ve got that down, and you want to become a professional illustrator, it’s time to start drawing from your imagination. I draw so much from my head these days that I forget how satisfying it is to sit down and draw from a book – to copy something, as it were. I don’t know if it’s satisfying because of the instant gratification (hey, my drawing looks like the picture I just drew from) or if it’s because it takes me back to all the hours I spent drawing as a kid. Either way, it’s still really enjoyable and I should make time to do it more often. Last night I drew from a book of bird paintings I own. I just sat down for an hour and drew. It felt like 5 minutes.

My entry for this year’s auction benefiting the Furniture Bank of Atlanta is just about complete. The painting is based off some bird sketches I came across while flipping through an old sketchbook of mine. That happens a lot – I’ll sketch down an idea I think will make a nice finished piece at some point and then forget about it. It’s nice to come across an old idea and find a home for it. The auction is at the end of the month and all the proceeds will benefit the Furniture Bank.

You can see my previous year’s entries here