Monday, June 22, 2009
I always get paranoid when I sketch on the train-- there are always people that I'd like to draw and I feel the need to whip out the sketchbook and sketch away... I wonder what they think when they see someone drawing them because getting drawn is different from getting a picture taken. Do they feel self-conscious? Annoyed? Proud? Weirded-Out? Do they feel like I have invaded their privacy? It's difficult for me to be in their shoes because I am on the inside, I know what is happening...
Then there's the part when you get caught. I've once been told to stop drawing--they seemed offended...or I'll get dirty looks. I guess in fear of this happening again I always go for the ones sleeping or really into their books and crossword puzzles. Sometimes I luck out and get a really interesting face or two. I'm not sure what to call this whole thing... you know, the unwritten rules on the train and in New York in general-- Don't get caught in the act of staring at someone. Which is pretty much what someone drawing is doing...Don't make eye contact...If you get caught, "WHATCHU LOOKIN AT?" And, especially in the Bronx, I've seen many fights start over "the stare"--which is almost as bad as stepping on the latest kicks. So I say "Hey, hey, make Art, not War." Then the other obstacle: timing. On the train, you gotta be quick, because you never know when they'll get up and leave or wake up and change position completely. I like this part better than getting caught which is probably why I still do it anyway.