I remember being four years old and drawing a face on a chalkboard, and I remember it filling up the whole space. I remember being at home with my family – and when I was done, I ran away crying. They asked me, “What’s the matter?” I answered, “My drawing is scary!”
It looked like a monster to me: big eyes, gaping mouth, big teeth. I scared myself.
Years later, I found myself as an art college student attending lectures. And while I may have been a tad bored and distracted at times, my attention would then focus on the people in my class as I would doodle them on scratch pieces of paper. My style had started to develop through these sketches: a mix of portrait and caricature, drawn with quick, bold lines. Rarely did people in my classes realize they were being sketched, but when I would gift unsuspecting subjects with my doodles, they would sometimes buy me hot meals and cold drinks as tokens of their appreciation. What started as a fun hobby turned into some of my first paying gigs as a young artist.
From then on, I took every chance I could get to draw my friends. And if I was lucky, their friends too. Later on, I was asked to draw caricatures based on photo references for special occasions and also created cartoons for student newspapers and flyers. But what surprised me the most was doing caricatures at public events where individuals would line up to have their faces drawn. I observed that people on the sidelines would watch me like a baker kneading dough, and it gave me a surge of energy - like good pressure pushing me to do my best.
I have continued to either make art or teach art throughout my career, and have been inspired by many contemporary talents and experiences that have fed my passion to broaden my palette as a visual artist. Of all the things I have created, worked on, or collaborated on through the years, guess what people remember me for the most? - drawing faces.
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