Let Me Make You Art

I have this ART idea that’s been hovering around my head for awhile in a sort of darting and flitting way, and today it kind of landed for real—for a couple minutes anyway. Long enough for me to take the essence of the thing and perhaps do something with it.

I like to draw people. Portraits, specifically. I can do full figures, but still need a great deal of practice on them for proportion and all that to confidently say, “I can do good figure drawings.” So, to back up, I like to draw people’s faces and I’m pretty good at it. I like pencil and charcoal best.

I always have it in my head that I’d like to draw my friends, and then when I flip through photos that I have to work from, I realize I have very few physical photos (especially current ones) of my friends and family. And working from photos online just isn’t  cutting it. I mean, ideally, I’d have a physical body in my attic from which to draw, but a decent sized and quality photo is a useable alternative.

So, here’s what I’m proposing to my friends and family: Send me photos of you and I will draw them in pencil or charcoal and send back both the photo and the drawing.

I haven’t worked out all the details yet. Like, how do I ship a charcoal drawing without it smudging and ruining it? What size photo should you send me? The bigger the better because details are clearer, but I can’t really work from small photos that have been enlarged because it’s all pixelated and makes it really hard to see clearly. So, probably for now the best thing to do is just send me the clearest and biggest photo that you’d like drawn. And as I go along with this, I’ll learn what works best and we’ll adapt accordingly. I’ll have to do some investigating about the shipping.

What do you think?

This has a few benefits for all involved, as I see it.

1. I get to draw.

1. a) You’ve got nothing to lose.

2. You get a hand drawn portrait of you, or your spouse/kid/various loved one.

3. You can hang it in your house, give it away as a gift, stow it in your basement as a memento of helping out a pal.

4. I get to pretend I’m a real artist commissioned by real people for real art.

5. It’ll only cost you the postage for the photo you mail. (For now. Depending how this little adventure goes, perhaps someday I’d charge people to do their portraits.)

6. RE: Number 5: Unless you feel compelled to include a love offering to off-set my costs in re-shipping to you, and for my supplies, and perhaps the eventual purchase of a bona-fide artist’s easel.

That last one is entirely up to you because for now, I want to draw things and I want to send the drawings off to people who want them when they are finished. I do much better in life when I have someone else’s expectation to meet. I’m less likely to hang out around my attic drawing things if I’m the only one going to see them. That probably goes against everything a REAL ARTIST would say, but truth be told, all artists are a little narcissistic and the rest of them are just fooling themselves if they believe they make art only for themselves.

But what it does for me is give me some external pressure to accomplish something that I want to do. Help me not be a slacker and get something cool (I hope you think so anyway) in return.

Also, RE: the previous post, this helps me focus on one thing that I want to do so I’m not so wayward and maudlin about it all.

Send me an email: chastity@chastitywest.com if you want to send a photo and I’ll give you my address.

7 thoughts on “Let Me Make You Art

  1. you could laminate or cover the charcoal drawings in plastic or something to keep them from smudging. They make a laminating kit that you can use if the sheets are big enough. Its really easy once you get the hang of it. I think i got mine from walmart. Not very expensive. Or some kind of plastic sheathing that you could slide it in???


    1. Thanks Kathy. I think I’d be worried about the laminating, but some kind of plastic sheath, like a giant Ziploc bag might be the way to go. Gonna keep looking into it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s