54 - Empire State of Mind - Feeling Melancholy and Empowered
54 - Sugar

54 - This Is What I Listened to While Learning to Draw

54Growing up in Wisconsin, my family lived in a four bedroom home. As my brother and I never got along, I spent my junior high years sleeping in whatever bed in the house wasn't occupied. My sister was at college for part of this time and my parents, each of whom had their own room but slept together, would sleep in one room for a few months and then the other one, so there was never really a lack of an alternative place for me to lay my head down. But, I did have to toggle from one room to the next for months at a stretch. It probably taught me adaptability, but I sure was happy when the brother moved out of what used to be our bedroom. They did a remodel in my freshman year and from sophomore year onwards, it was mine, all mine.

It was a kind of golden age. I was stable. I had a cast off stereo that I could play my movie soundtracks on. I had a cast off black and white TV I could watch shows on. And, I had a drafting table that my dad gave me for Christmas. It was kind of like my own little studio apartment. Actually, I think it might have been bigger than the studio apartment I first lived in in New York in the mid 90s. :) 

The drafting table gave me no end of pleasure. I'd fire up the stereo with Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, 1941 (I think I'm the only one who loved that movie), and Close Encounters.  I would spend entire weekends drawing comics full of characters that I made up. No one really saw them and no one was meant to. They were there for me to practice. The music inspired me to draw and write heroic deeds, cliffhangers, and narrow escapes. I know that I have had happy times in my life, but that era was among my favorites. 

Even through my father's illness, I drew and played on. Basically it was my own way of finding something to do and trying to keep life going as normal as it could be. My mother only made one request - that I keep the music from 1941 turned down as it made my father sad reminding him of his days in the War. 

My music tastes have expanded quite a bit since those days. My playlist includes a lot more than pop culture, but it is those soundtracks that form my inspiration. Some day, you might see Angie dashing from a big boulder while wearing a cape and getting into her spaceship at the top of a ferris wheel sitting on a pier. If that happens, you'll know exactly that came from. :) 

 

 

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