Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ten Years

Ten years ago, on a Thursday in July, I arrived in a city I didn't know at all, in a state that was completely foreign to me, not knowing a single soul, and I decided I would try my hand at living there. So, I found a job, and I stayed.

And that is the story of how I moved to Austin.

Since I didn't know anyone or anything, I spent a lot time of my first several weeks here alone in my apartment, drawing away. The picture assortment above even includes a sketch of my modest living room (complete with my TV/VCR combo and my cinder block and panel entertainment center!), as well as a sketch of the counter of the comic book store I frequented, and a sketch I remember doing of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, where I had just spent time studying the previous year and where I took the photo I used for reference. 

Yep, cracking open an old sketchbook is like getting in a time machine.

Suddenly, I am back in my first apartment, talking with the first few friends I made in town, chatting to my family and college friends all the time on late night long distance calls. Going to my first Weird Wednesday at the Alamo. Having my first taste of queso. All of those Austin firsts, all over again.

I was so fresh! So naive! And apparently so full of sketches because I have, like, three books full of stuff I can date back to my first few weeks in Austin.

I always find there is nothing quite so inspiring and embarrassing at the same time as digging through old sketchbooks. There are so many things I had forgotten about, and often I find ideas and work that I feel is worth picking up again.

But then there is the cringe worthy stuff.  Oh, my word, the cringe worthy stuff (which, no, I will not be sharing, thank you)!

Like these Cinderella sketches of mine. Why didn't I ever do more with these? I should totally work on this again, right?

Yet, I can't help but thinking when I look at these, "What's up with the heavy hand, Alicia?" Yikes! Way to make the paper buckle!

Although, I guess that bottom left panel is reminiscent of my less-sketchy and more-linear sketchbook sketches of today, right?

There definitely is more variety to my drawing styles in my sketchbooks from 10 years ago compared to my sketchbooks today, as one can see from the sketches here. Hmmm, maybe I should try to mix it up more often these days? Yes?  No?

Maybe not?  Because I think it's obvious from looking at these sketches that I was already heading in the direction of my current "style" of drawing. Which feels weird.

Because, you know, I was fresh out of college, and this was more of the kind of stuff I would just doodle on a whim and not necessarily the kind of illustration work I produced in college. I just naturally ended up doing the more simplified, macaroni-elbowed cartoony thing eventually, despite my often times trying desperately to NOT do that back then.

And there you have it. Another trip down memory lane.

Ten years, and now I'm hitched, happy, and settled in that foreign place I had thought I would be living in for four years. Tops! Yes, that's what I told myself.

And boy, I'm glad I was wrong about that. Pin It


Unknown said...

great post I enjoyed reading. I f I had the gift to draw like you I bet I'd draw up way too many imaginary friends and people, especially with being alone. It's great your settled the uncertainty of new places can get to you.

Mark said...

I'm right on the cusp of choosing a new city and "Should I Stay Or Should I Go". It's always refreshing to read success stories.

alicia policia said...

Thanks, y'all!

Moving like that was definitely a hard thing to do, but I am glad I pushed (and sketched!) through it and found success and a place for myself here despite the difficulties and "growing pains." I think it's very good for me to remember those experiences and reflect on what brought me to where I am now.

And I'm glad to hear that folks are enjoying reading about my experience, as well. : )