another one of the besties / OG member of my old high school crew, “KKKK” (KaramelKreamKidsKonglomerate or 4K) (sorry, no new members for now), against his will, naturally. the inspiration for the sketch came from a photo of him i shot at my 23rd b-day party at this douchey soho frat bar, Thunder Jacksons. i think i captured his sussness quite nicely. i mean, it’s not as sus as the previous sketch “Julio,” but hey, no one is as sus as that guy.
dude is attending his final college semester, and from what i’ve seen, he already has what it takes to make an impact in the art community. i graduated and i’m still unsure if i have what it takes to make a living doing this. yes, i do good work in sprints, but can i run a marathon if i had to? i remember P. Diddy (back when he called himself P. Diddy) (who knows what this dude’s name is now) said in an interview,
“i’m not a sprinter, i’m a marathon runner."
totally believe that. whether he has a boss or not doesn’t matter. fact is, the dude is consistent, and when he’s ready to hang his jersey in the rafters, he’s going in the HOF. if you average his L’s with his W’s, you’ll see he’s more than earned the right to stand next to the greats (of course, this is all an opinion formed from one on the outside looking in).
Back to the topic tho: the dude in this sketch did a lot to inspire and motivate me during the classes we shared. every time i stress how awesome he is he shoots me down with that "dude, i’m mediocre” shtick. however, it’s the little things he does that add up to what will soon be greatness. dude constantly sketches, dude is organized, dude got his priorities in check, dude even has a nice looking gf (btw i think that’s his little sister/cousin above his head). i joke and tell him i wanna be like him when i grow up, but deep down, i’m serious. i like to surround myself with people who are better than me, those who can inspire & motivate. he’s part of the reason i’ve been drawing these sketch exercises all through August.
i used to really suck at life-drawing before this year. heck, i barely sketched at all since high school because i was so busy playing catch-up on all the Adobe programs. lol one time i tried to sketch my favorite news reporter, Roger Clark, last-minute, for an intern project and it came out so hilariously crappy. now i feel like i could outdraw the floor underneath yo mama’s feet. i’m sorry, that was arrogant. what i meant was “i’ve noticed improvements with each sketch.” this is only because of what the muse of this sketch taught me: he always gave a firm & precise evaluation of anything i did, never letting me get away with putting out weak crap. if i had an big ego, i’d just brush his words to the side and keep putting out crap. now i’m learning to critique my own work as if he was standing over my shoulder, waiting to call me out for being a complacent heaux.
there’s this prodigy named Kelvin Okafor my father put me on to who sketches the greatest photo-realistic portraits with graphite i’ve seen; 90-100 hours of patience, average. on average, i spend approximately 40-60 hours on on a sketch, which is clear since Okafor’s work is leagues above mine. i’m aware comparing yourself to other artists is a poor quality - that’s not my intention. what my sketched-friend taught me is that i’m competing with other artists.
i want to be better than great artists. i want to be great at my craft. i want my jersey in the rafters.
another friend from high school i coincidently went to college with, Richard (who improved by 180 degrees intellectually & artistically), always puts his work on the same bar as the pros, because that’s the plateau he wants to reach/surpass.
“i rather die enormous than live dormant.” - Jay Z
why would anyone strive for second place? why wouldn’t you want to push the boundaries of the culture as well as yourself? what do you accomplish by being sub-par? i don’t want to die tomorrow with nothing to show for it. God forbid i pass, i want to go out giving my all, pushing what i love. and it’s not for those selfish Lamborghini dreams i used to have - i can’t see myself being fulfilled that way with the lifestyle i’m aiming for. don’t get me twisted: Lambos are ill, i’d like to own one, but i like to think that character can drive me places money can’t (wow that was corny).
one of my favorite pretty white friends is pretty much the living embodiment of Little Kuriboh’s Bandit Keith parody, so i designed the most patriotic du-rag i could draw on his head (partially Dipset inspired). The concept is pretty smooth, since he’s kind of an honorary black man anyway (hek naw he still ain’t getting no pass to use the N-word).
We met in late 2010, at his friend Cora’s b-day party, at that douchey frat bar i mentioned 2 sketches ago called Thunder Jacksons and have been pretty cool ever since. Met his family, hung out at his home, do hoodrat stuff in public together. Yeah, that’s pretty much it. i’m not writing a giant friendship essay like i did for that last sketch, F that. I screwed up on the composition (pic 1) and had to erase & redraw the line art to save paper and acquire a more dynamic hierarchy. I just thought this sketch would be funny to draw considering the dude is such a character. And knowing how to draw is half the battle.