I often sketch writers as they personally read me their works—while ignoring the large audience that also sits in the same auditorium. In this way I've gotten rather good at scribbling on a tiny pad of paper in the near dark with all attempts made to keep the pencil from squeaking or percussing the paper. The sketches are a bit cartoony but still traditional, kind of old fashioned. I have offended nobody with them.
Lately in my quest to work bigger and fill a few walls at the Cornelia Street Cafe art gallery (my show is coming later this year!) I have begun experimenting. For this exercise I sketched a poet who could not pose live. I drew on paper. I wrangled in photoshop. I turned her black and white photo into color. I added type and more photos. I showed it to people who either disliked it a lot or said I was on to something. I have taken my first not very startling toddle out of safety.
Being that I am a book designer, the piece has that book jacket feel. I know. Occupational hazard. But I had to start somewhere. But I do feel excited by combining pencil and photoshop.... Maybe in time, if I do a few more of these, I'll get it nudged into a portrait that does not seem like it hugs a spine and sixteen signatures. Should I add more bees?