My recollections of childhood are blurry at best, but every once in a while a memory sticks out; a shirtless hanger pointing away from a full rack of clothing. If I close my eyes, I can see my eleven year old self sitting in an oversized waiting room chair, one toe grazing the linoleum with my other foot tucked securely under my thigh. My tongue sticks out slightly, an absentminded tick, as I focus on the page in front of me. I'm drawing, or at least very seriously attempting to draw, the curly haired receptionist behind the ornate desk by the door. She glances up at me from time to time, but doesn't seem to care that I'm staring. My brother is busy with his Pokemon Yellow pursuits in the chair next to me. I draw until my parents re-enter the room, at which time I proudly show them my accomplishments. They tell me I've done an excellent job capturing the woman ( "would you look at the eyes! You got them just right, Josie"). I can still see the page in my mind:
It was a terrible portrait.
I didn't draw what I consider a passable portrait until the October after my fifteenth birthday, which I spent in competition with an artist friend; amicable challenges bring out the best in my competitive nature, and in this case resulted in a reasonably recognizable pencil composition of Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter. Later that week, I'd churned out a pencil portrait of House MD, and from that day on I would call myself an amateur artist (because if I looked in his eyes, I could tell I'd gotten them just right).
The Society6 page below is where I upload some of these creations, including some typographic additions and silhouette collections, for purchase by the public. Every purchase helps me afford coffee and all manner of creative implements from pencil sets to prismacolor markers (which I'm in the market for, by the way).