The walls of the “American Dad” conference room were plastered with all sorts of freaky things on Friday, May 7, 2010. Perhaps the lack of sleep was causing me to hallucinate skeletons, monsters, and Siamese twin rabbits in places where they shouldn’t be; literally, I did not sleep the night before. Or maybe it was because the Freak Show was going on. My piece was this tribute to “A Dance Around the Moon” by Charles Altamont Doyle because it fit the theme with all those weird, naked creatures flying around in Doyle’s painting. What a confusing painting! But not as confusing as my drawing was to all who saw it. Several times I was asked something along the lines of “What’s with the naked chick riding on that…thing?” And once, my brother Andrew asked, “Why does everyone look Asian?” Come to think of it, I was asking myself that same question.
We all have our heroes that we make the mistake of imitating sometimes. For me, one of these heroes is Eric Canete. I was determined to make a Canete drawing out of my piece, trying desperately to match the look and feel of his ANNIVERSARY_commission drawing. Didn’t even come close! The whole time I was inking, I was too afraid to make the necessary pen strokes to achieve that scratchy look; it just wasn’t a style that I was comfortable inking in. In the end, I should’ve remembered that old adage about learning from your heroes, but not imitating them. I think we all do better when we stick to our own personal style.
I forgive myself for this mistake, though. My drawing is good for what it is, and, hey…I learned how to make white people look Asian! That’s pretty cool.