Thursday, February 19, 2009

Talent Optional

During that brief college career o’ mine, in my second drawing class, there came a late-starting student, an ephemeral fairy princess-like creature named Nora Sue. She was almost painfully beautiful: big blue eyes, a China doll face, long blond curls cascading to her tiny waist.

Nora Sue was a real live Former Bunny: she'd worked at the Playboy Club in Chicago. (I imagined men hurling themselves off the top of the building when they learned Nora Sue had moved.) To this day, she’s the only woman I’ve known who crippled men by her presence. Young or old, married or single, she just turned them into mush. She was married, but that didn’t stop anyone from fantasizing and/or making complete blabbering, blubbering idiots of themselves.

I wanted so much to hate her, I think all the girl people wanted to, but she made it impossible. She was genuinely nice, and she acted as if those boys were just silly! As if they were crippled and turned to mush by all of us, instead of just her. How endearing is that?? Plus, on top of all her hotness, her coolness and her gorgeousness, she rode a full-size Harley. I know, sometimes I wonder if we all imagined her.

I can’t remember where she was from, but she had just a little Southern lilt, and her favorite expression, her reaction to just about everything that happened around her, was “Oh, mah word!”

On top of everything else, Miss Magic Angel Goddess actually had decent drawing skills. Everyone did but me, it seemed. Oh, I could eke out a line drawing or two, as demonstrated here, but shading, perspective, depth, reflection... all beyond me. Unlike my first drawing class, this teacher* was a very unhelpful, self-involved blowhard. His two critiques of my work were cruel and vicious. That alone wouldn't have deterred me, but all I had to do was look around at the other students' work. I was so outclassed in those few classes, I pretty much abandoned the idea of making a living creating art.

It would be many years before I realized (through a friend of Sis, actually) that a smidgen of talent and a boatload of self-promotion and marketing skills will get you further than a boatload of talent without the P.R.

If only I’d known...Oh, mah word.

*Later that year, he shaved off his beard and it turns out: he had no chin. His face just ended at his lower lip. It was some comfort that his cruelty to me probably wasn't personal; he just had a mean streak from being born chinless.

Top to bottom: my Frye boots that I toted around for decades and threw away twelve minutes before they came back in style, the Art Department's hallway sofa, and Crazy Linda in her cowboy boots.


tim's wife said...

I knew what those boots were the second I saw that picture. Frye are bringing me back. My mother usually got me the latest fads about 12 minutes after everyone stopped wearing them.
Remember gauchos?!

La Cootina said...

Oh, my yes, I do remember gauchos. But I started becoming dress-resistant in high school; I don't think I ever owned any.

Unknown said...

I really love the line drawrings (Oh you know my name is Siiiiiiiiimon)! I'd totally hang the couch above my couch!

Anonymous said...

every time i visit your blog, i am blown away by all your talents. the drawings are great. the best i could ever do is a stick figure - no joke. you are a gal of many talents - thanks for sharing them with us less creative sorts :) Hope you are enjoying a good weekend!