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Sketching. Probably the most basic of art forms. You grab whatever you want, apply it to whatever surface you want and done! Who hasn’t doodled on a napkin, scribbled in the margins of a text book or ended a sentence in a note with a smiley face? I  would go so far as to say that people who take the time to create symbol smileys on emails and text messages are still doodlers.  It counts!

So insignificant that we often throw away or leave the drawing behind when we move on. Ideas are often born out of such things. The old dutch masters of canvas didn’t simply go from thought to paint with their creations. Everything about art is born out of sketching. Sometimes impacts for a lifetime are born out of sketching. I have an old college buddy who will wear one of my sketches for the rest of his life. A tattoo on his arm that is the final product of my doodling in lecture classes instead of taking notes. How impacting is that? Is it impacting at all? 

He asked me to design something for him, what does it represent to him? What does it symbolize to others when they see it? What does it say about me as a person (not as an artist but about my personality and character?) that I agreed to draw it in the first place? 60 years from now is college buddy the third going to say “tell me about your tattoo?” and a story about me going to be told? How will their impression about me and what I drew impact their thoughts, feelings, decisions even? Will it impact none of those things?

I went tattoo parlor shopping with him and went with him to get the tattoo done. A chic named James told him if he cried she’d kick him out of her shop for being a baby as she prepped her ink gun. We laughed. Watching that ink go into his skin and a creation of mine appear underneath small drips of blood gave me the chills. Not in the grossed out or squeamish kind of way, that sort of thing doesn’t bother me but, I realized that a part of me, the part that gave the time and thought and passion into the design was going to be apart of him forever. Scary. 

Now when I sketch out my ideas for paintings or when I sketch just for fun I have little hands that copy me. Little fingers four times smaller then my own that grab a crayon and draw short stubby hash marks in blue and green on printer paper trying to mimic my swoops and shading on academie acid-free medium weight paper. How much does what I do every day effect those fingers? How will my sketching impact his life?  Will he grow up doodling in his text books and drawing fake tattoos on his arm in bic ink that irritate his father like I did? What if he wants a tattoo? What will I say to that?

“Are you designing it or am I?”  




  1. Makes one think about how all our actions could impact others. Well written, Can't help but think of those little hands and what a great influence you are.

  2. CUTE!!!!!!!!!!! thats all i can say

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