My dive into my grade school years concludes with some bits-n-pieces of stuff from high school…
Exhibit H: I really did have a business card in high school. And I really did want to be an illustrator. But I wasn’t one. Hey, a kid can dream…you never know what might happen.
Exhibit I: my senior school ID. I went without glasses for a couple of years so I could “blend in”. I also practiced a crooked smile in the mirror ala Harrison Ford and Bruce Willis. It didn’t make me any cooler.
Exhibit J: By my senior year, I was entering all sorts of art competitions. Sometimes I’d place, sometimes I’d get overlooked and get nothing. This portrait of Pat Benatar won me some scholarship money. I loved drawing portraits of the rock-n-rollers back then as music was an integral part of my teenage life…and still is today.
Exhibit K: Speaking of Rock-n-Roll, I’ve spoken about the impact of beautifully designed and packaged albums before. And, though this was over 10 years old by the time I graduated in high school, this tri-fold presentation of Elton John’s 1974 classic, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, was just awesome. You had typeset lyrics matched with hand-rendered imagery.
With my record player and headphones, I was lost in Elt’s falsetto harmonies and Ian Beck’s and David Larkham’s cool illustrations. Both of artists, of course, went on to illustrate popular children’s books.
Exhibit L: This time period in my life would not be complete without showing this – the liner card to a mixed-tape from my high school girlfriend. Though I haven’t talked her in years and years, people like her that came in and out of my life certainly help mold and prepare me for the next chapter in my story.
Like the art contests that I didn’t win, my failed relationships (I feel) toughened my skin and strengthened my resolve on that winding journey to success and happiness.