No, you can’t. Every time, a little bit of art you’ve drawn has been completely blown out. As I said, you never draw the exact picture you had planned. In the end you can never draw without reference.
How do you make your drawings stick, if there is none in the book you’re working with?
If you want to look at them as sketches or paintings, then you have to draw what you see, nothing more or less. You have to draw from a real situation.
With the book, you might look at them as drawings or paintings with one image in your mind, then you paint from that perspective, and the art emerges, even though you can’t draw directly from the drawing. But you can see the picture and draw it back to you.
The second way is you use an illustration that is already in your head. I use my work as an illustration, and it is very accurate, not a true drawing. But if you think through my work, you could easily figure out how to make the picture in your head – the way you did with me. And then you could turn it into illustration.
You had many great friends growing up, but you had a bad childhood when your parents divorced. Were you an only child?
I was the only child. I lived in a boarding school in America, in a farmhouse of some kind. I didn’t get along well with my teachers and my parents, they were very strict. I got along fine, I don’t understand the bad things I was growing up through, but a lot of things happened in my life that I have learned were bad, but it was my own badness. But to me that was very difficult to deal with. So I kept all my feelings and experiences close. But you grow up in a bad part of town in the South, and they always have been.
One of my greatest heroes was Henry Miller. In high school, he was a very active person, and very passionate. He was a lawyer who became a politician in California. And I loved him enormously. The other thing that I loved about him was his honesty. When he came out with the book of his stories in The Grapes of Wrath, I thought “Yes, I want to be in that.” I’ve been there and done that. I was the biggest fan of everything Miller wrote.
Do you know when I think of a Miller, or how many times
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