Neighbors, October 25, 2011

Jim Public's neighbors October 25, 2011
Jim Public's neighbors October 25, 2011

I’m happy to say that I’ve been doing a few more neighbor drawings. I had started to think that I wasn’t going to reach 10, much less my original goal of an easy 100. If people show up this weekend for the neighborhood party, there’s a chance that others will volunteer to receive a nice ink drawing from the local artist.

I do think the drawings are getting better as I go. Maybe my community is more shrewd than I’ve given them credit for: they want to be drawn later in the process when I’ve really gotten my chops down. I should be taking another photo this week, and I have high hopes for several more appointments after Saturday.

For a few weeks I had started to move on mentally from this goal of drawing the neighbors. So few people have taken me up, and it does take a decent amount of work for which I don’t earn anything. But, it’s not like this project is taking me away from making a living. Things are quiet right now, which is part of how I ended up here in the first place. Obscurity can offer freedom. I’ve accepted that I’m basically starting over as an artist, and when you’re starting over you don’t reach out to take–or at least I don’t. You’ve got to reach out to give.

I may have said this before, but I’m treating this as if I’m in the street musician phase of my career. I show up when and where I can, open up my guitar case, and just start playing. Maybe someone throws me sixpence, but I just want people to hear the music. Who am I to ask for people’s money in exchange for my trying to live the art dream? What do my life and career goals have to do with you?

These are some of my thoughts at the moment. I’m happy to draw as many of my fellow Camelotians as I can. It feels good to make the neighborly gesture, plus I get to reproduce the drawings and show them to you, which also feels good.

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