4.08.2016

Draw(r)ings

I sometimes forget that the reason I got a Galaxy Note 5 smartphone was so I could doodle. I guess. I can also hand write notes to myself, but I seldom do. I seldom doodle either, but I mean to do more of it. I doodle more than I write hand written notes to myself, I guess I should say.

I am reading right now a book by Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, entitled "How to Fail at Everything and Still Win Big." It's a self help guide* based on Adams' life and how he tried a million different things before Dilbert paid off, seemingly by pure luck. I am certainly not gambling on my doodling abilities someday becoming my career, but neither did Adams think Dilbert would be his. He just kept busy trying things until something took. Like me, a lot of what he tried involved working in Corporate America for a lot of years, the observations from which have been manifested in the Dilbert comic, to the great enjoyment of millions.

Anyway, I don't really have a point to this post other than to say I might start sharing a few of my doodles with you here. In addition to the Note 5, Deborah and I also have in our house a "Buddha Board." This is a canvas upon which you can paint pictures with water using a brush. It's very ephemeral and fleeting, which has some kind of Buddhist undertones I guess, because the water evaporates, I suspect quite quickly in dry places and higher altitudes. However, I cheat a little bit, because I use my Note 5's camera to snap a picture of what I draw on the Buddha Board before it disappears. This has some kind of spiritual parallel with the belief that taking a person's picture captures a little bit (or all) of their soul, but I'll let you contemplate that.

I was thinking too that, in a way, these short blog posts I write are kind of like literary doodles. They probably suck just as bad as the visual ones, but maybe over time they'll become sufficiently entertaining that lots of people will enjoy them. If you want to get better at something, it's all about the DOING. Practice etc. Talent I think is maybe 10% to 20% of it and practice is the rest. For example, I am fairly talented at bass guitar, pushing 20%, more than enough to "rest on my laurels," as they say in the vernacular (though, that may be the wrong phrase entirely). If I do no practice whatsoever, I can achieve about a B minus level of quality bass playing - enough to impress about 80% of the general populace of non-bass players - like the time I was supposed to practice, but didn't, a Red Hot Chili Peppers song for the open jam stage at Funks Pub. I did pretty well until the bridge, when it devolved into a total train wreck. Entertaining, but not "good" in the strictest sense of the word.

I drew this doodle of my Boston terrier Foster on our Buddha Board. It is one of my better draw(r)ings, which should give you a solid understanding of why a successful career in the visual arts is probably not in the cards for me.

* Note: I am not reading Adams' book because I need self help. I am working on a self help book of my own, and this is kind of like research. I am pleased to find that there are some common threads between Adams' book and my own in progress one. Objectively, I would even propose that if you are looking for a self help book, read his, for two good reasons. 1. Mine's not done yet. 2. He's relatively famous and I'm not. That's not to say I won't someday be accomplished for my work, but I rather shun fame, and people generally.

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