Monday, September 2, 2013

Portraits, not Poor Traits

By sheer law of large numbers, some of you, dear readers, are probably redditors. If you don't know what that means, then you clearly aren't one, in which case, allow me to explain.
Reddit is a website. It contains different boards, divided by theme, on which people post images, links, and opinons related to that theme. Users can then vote on the posts perceived quality- posts with the most votes show up at the top of the boards.

And... that's pretty much all there is to know. 

One such board (or "subreddit" for you unindoctrinated) is called "Reddit Gets Drawn", where users post pictures of themselves and request that various artists who frequent the board draw an illustration of them. Guess who's been involved in that lately?

It's me. Man, do you even read this blog?

Kidding- but I do love it. I've never been all that great at portraits, but most posters don't mind if you take a little artistic license with their images. Here are some I did last week:

This fellow posted: "this is a picture of me in a play that helped me overcome my depression. Could any of you awesome people draw this first happy moment I had in years?"
Well, I couldn't say no to that. Here was my take:

Another photo that I decided to tackle had a little more, um, flavor:

She writes: "I've lost over 50 lbs. since December of last year. Now I am training for the Tough Mudder and getting my certification as a personal trainer. I am feeling kind of badass! RGD, can you capture this attitude?"

As someone who also lost a lot of weight and fights to stay in good shape, I could really empathize with her. So, what do you think readers: did I adequately capture the concept of "badass"?

This next image hit me right in the feels:

The poster writes: "My 13-year-old-daughter, lover of all animals, defender of bullied classmates, fiercely loyal friend, does not believe she is beautiful, inside and out. Can you please help show her?"

I mean, who wouldn't love to have a friend like that? Oh, to be thirteen again... who am I kidding? I was an awkward, weird thirteen year old. Adolescence can be really rough for a lot of people (myself included), and who couldn't use a little self-esteem boost? I had to give it a shot. 

(I went back to pencils instead of Prismacolors because that was all I had on me at the time, but I really liked how it turned out. Maybe I've become dependent on my markers? I'll have to go back to pencil for a while).

After I posted this response, I received a message from the poster saying that her daughter, Lily, was a budding cartoonist herself and was thrilled with the cartoon I drew of her. She then asked if she could buy the original sketch for Lily! 

Wow. I hadn't actually sold a cartoon since my college days. Sure, why not? So I dropped the drawing in the mail, along with an additional cartoon to show my appreciation.... which, as it turns out, I forgot to scan before I mailed it. Whoops! Looks like that one really is one of a kind! 

It's worth noting that I wasn't the only person who did drawing renditions for these lovely folks- there are plenty of other artists there (and plenty who are better than me) who also tackled these requests. Their work is also more than worth checking out. 

The moral of the story here, folks? Some people like to refer to the internet as "the wild wild west" or "the great worldwide hate machine". That may be true in some places, but not here. If you need a little faith restored in humanity, drop by Reddit Gets Drawn- and if you want someone to draw you, it helps to include a little bit of backstory. :)

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