So, I’m getting kicked out of SF at the end of this month, and I’m not sure when I’ll be moving back, so I’ve dedicated a little bit of time to a place everyday to go and do some drawing!
I decided to start my run of 30 days of drawing with a trip back to where it all started for me during my time living here in San Francisco- the townsend building at AAU. Hundreds of us wannabe illustrators all met each other for the fist time here with wide-eyed optimism at the starting of a long and hard race in which very few of us had any clue how to finish. It was almost like getting hit with a very cold bucket of ice water: once the shock of the initial wave wore off, the deep chill of knowing what it meant to be a professional artist sunk in. Not many of us knew how much grit it really took to be an artist, and not many of the people who started off in this foundations building actually made it out of it, and after about a year and a half, most everyone you had met going in were going out the same door with their heads hung low.
I had gone in without ever having even touched a piece of charcoal, or done any real studying of anatomy or anything of the like. To say the least, I started off very rough. These were some of the best years of my life though, with teachers like Jon Dalton, who would crack me up for hours with his pro-level trash talk; or Larry Z having later dropped the Larry from his name) who was nothing less than a samurai when it came to his craft. I was still working as an electrician, so I came in with the nights and weekend crew, and there were many endless 24 hour work days in which I would sometimes believe that I was going crazy. Piles of colored swatches and struggles to get that elusive A- would become more like 10 round boxing matches, and almost all of my other hobbies in life melted away. Playing in bands and going to bars quickly became things of the past. During this time in my life, everything boiled down to getting the job done and becoming good at what I did, and that lesson has stuck with me throughout all these years. Walking around the building today made me wonder what had happened to some of the people that I had known during this time, friends that were about as close to me as anyone that I have ever known because of the struggles we had getting to move on from the townsend building to the good stuff at AAU. There is one thing at the building that still hasn’t changed though, and that is this:
The coffee machine in the basement. Oh, how I love you, machine. I still have all the gold dollar coins you used to spit out for change, and I promise I’ll never spend them.
As for the drawing that I worked on today? I had gone into this building having started my comic that I had named “Liberty” and today I found it fitting to work on my newest, and infinity better comic “Popapocalypse.” It was a fitting way to say farewell to a building that I’ll always remember fondly. See ya later Townsend!