Get off my lawn.

Friday, May 29, 2009


On occasion, I've had opportunity to talk to people who are really into what they do. Musicians, programmers, people who paint, people who roast their own coffee beans, recording engineers, etc. The ones who really stand out and are really good at something usually react a certain way when you bring up their topic of interest. They practically light up. A lot of the time, they'll immediately launch into a conversation about it, talking about the finer points of what they do. It's pretty easy to tell that they spend a lot of time thinking about it, and really like talking about it to someone. What they have to say is usually pretty informative, and it's also cool to see someone so enthused and excited about what they're doing.

Today, I had a conversation like that with the security guard who sits at the entrance to the building where I work. I've walked past this guy at least 200 times sitting at his desk. He's a pretty quiet guy. I figured if he daydreamed about anything, it was probably bass boats or Megan Fox or something (not that there's anything wrong with any of that). Anyway, he was drawing a picture of a raygun similar to the one in the picture above. I said "Hey, cool gun", and he reacted like I described above. He pulled out a small notebook full of pictures he'd been drawing and started showing them to me. There was a Robinson Crusoe beach scene in full color. Another picture showed a crew on the bridge of a huge spaceship looking out the window at another (burning) spaceship in orbit around a planet. There was a post-it note with a pencil drawing of a guy's face on it, some variations on the picture above, and a lot more. Just one amazing picture after another. I took a few pictures of his pictures with my phone (hence the blurry quality) and brought them home.

He said he drew the one above while he was talking on the phone. That probably sounds like bragging, but some of the pictures in his book had phone numbers and other notes scibbled on them, like they were phone-doodles he decided to keep. I do know that I watched him demonstrate how to draw a convincing-looking eye, and it took him all of 40 seconds to do it. From what I saw, a guy with his apparent level of talent could crank out a space-guy picture like the one above in 10 minutes while on the phone.

He said he does some work for hire too. He does portraits, and he's working on artwork for a sci-fi comic right now. If you're looking for someone who can draw really well, I know someone...

I think it's pretty interesting, finding people and things like this in unexpected places.


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