Thursday, September 19, 2013

MTA Subway Sketch Series#7: You Better Not Be Drawing Me Edition

These may seem like an ordinary pair of legs crossed...and they are. But this is as far as I got before an older gentleman sitting next to me looked over at my sketchbook and reported to the woman across from us that it was not her I was drawing. The woman, decked in yellow sweats with a blue sweater, turned up her face, shifted in her seat, and repeated ad nauseam: "They better not be drawing me." 

I wasn't sure if the gentleman was trying to cover for me or didn't realize that the crossed legs in my book belonged to the disgruntled woman. Either way I sat there, deciding what I should do. Should I say something to her? Do I ignore her and continue on? I can continue to deny it...at worst she will just move from her seat or attempt to start a confrontation at this late night hour. At the end I decided to obey her wishes, even if they were expressed in what I consider to be a somewhat rude-ish manner.

These types of stories, I would presume, are what people who want to draw in public are scared of coming across. They happen though, but this is the first time it's happened to me in the 2 or so years that I've engaged in this activity. Some people laugh, stare, smile, take pictures, and then some demand that you draw them right at that moment. Since I am not paying them to model for me I oblige, nervous that I will not be able to convey their likeness properly, or at all. Once someone got me while I was drawing with a black pen. Those are the most challenging ones as I feel you can not mess up. When I was done he was quite pleased and admitted that drawing mouths proved to be a great challenge for him. I did my best to take the mystery out of that, but I don't know if he understood what I was trying to explain to him or if he just smiled and nodded his head in acknowledgement of my lips moving.

Once the woman had finally quieted down and resumed talking to her friend the gentleman asked me to draw him so as an act of thanks I obliged. Upon completion he rewarded me with $5 bill which I had declined before starting the drawing, but after ripping a page out of my $20+ Moleskine I kept it.