When I was a kid, I kept an art book. Everyday, after I got home from kindergarten, I drew a picture in it, and some days when I was feeling extra creative, I drew two pictures. Most days, I used a red pen, but I used markers sometimes too. Back then, I was a minimalist, just one color per drawing. The picture above is a haunted house. There’s a bat, a ghost, a frankenstein, a spider, a pumpkin, and a kid in a cone hat. It’s either a cone hat, or a wicked costume which I’ve unfortunately lost the ability to see with age. Maybe it was an awesome horn.
This is my big blue notebook, with a cheetah sticker on the front:
I could not yet spell my name all the way, although I had a few of the main letters down. I was also dabbling in spelling my sister’s name. I could do a pretty good “S”, but my “i” was still upside down. Nearly a quarter of my life has passed since I drew these pictures, and a lot of me is still the same. Like my eyes; people still compliment my eyes. I am still sort of shy, sometimes. My handwriting is still a shaky-hand style, and my laugh is the same too. These things don’t change.
But I was no budding Picaso. These pictures are pretty much still the extent of my artistic slant.
This is a fat person. I liked little heads on big bodies. My cat had a little head on a big body because my mom fed her a lot. Some days, I think I’ve modeled every drawing I’ve ever done after that cat. Cuddles was her name, but she was mean as Satan himself. Cuddles didn’t cuddle. She drew blood.
This is a self portrait, depicting the happiest day of the year after Christmas–my birthday. I’m clearly ready for the party. I have on my party hat–another tall cone hat–and I’ve set all the placements on the table, a fancy party. I’m ready for cake and ice cream. And some pretzels as an appetizer. Just waiting for all my friends to show up with presents. Lotsa presents.
Here’s an early example of my future consumerist-bent. I was five and I could spell the word SALE. I loved going to the mall. It meant a stop at Toys R Us. All these squares are stores at the mall. As you can see, I didn’t have a concept of spacial distance. I just knew the stores were all there in one place. And that there were sales. Fuck yes.
This one’s gotta be the zoo. Either that or a prison. I’m leaning towards the zoo, but hey, my dad was a prison guard, so you never know where my head was. It could also be a bear on a striped beach towel.
That’s McDonalds, so influential in my young life. Those are milkshakes. You’ll see my palsy attempt at an M on each of the cups. I drew a pretty good chicken, no doubt representing those glorious gristled Chicken McNuggets. Also in this picture appears to be a person dressed as a hot dog with fishing line coming out of their head. God, life rules when you’re five.
Someone in a hat. Almost everyone in my early sketchbook is wearing a hat. I just loved hats. I still do in fact. I wear a ballcap or beanie 197 days of the year. That number is based on chicken scratches I draw in the sandbox with a stick. I could be totally off.
A ghost, and a damn good ghost I think. In fact, this is a better ghost than anything I could draw today. I probably traced that shit. Yeah, remember tracing? It was like plagiarism, only you didn’t feel bad about it, because technically, you did draw it.
This is a guy in a hat, a dog, and a devil cat. Cats are evil. God is Dog spelled backwards, and Cat is REDRUM spelled anyway you look at it.
A bleeding person, the blood trickling out of their mouth, down their naked chest, through their internal organs, and out their feet. Guess I saw a slasher flick. And if you think this one’s bad, the next one is of Satan himself. What the heck was I watching?
The five year old inside of me secretly wonders which one is your favorite.