Two kinds of people attract unwarranted attention at cafes.
One, babies because they are tiny, cute, cuddly and non-judgemental humans who if you happen to catch after a recent feed-poop-nap session will bear smiles that will warm the cockles of your heart. From what I’ve seen one doesn’t even need to know the baby. It is perfectly acceptable to nod, wave or point at them from your table without offending anyone around.
The other kind is me. I have nothing in common with babies. But I still get pointed out, fussed over and smiled at by strangers. Shy reluctant children have been shoved in my direction by mothers with utmost urgency.”Go kiddo go, see what she’s doing!”. And then right behind the kiddo you find the guardian standing at a safe distance peering at me with equal interest.
The sight of an adult playing with crayons and watercolours in a room full of adults doing adult stuff like buying bread and drinking coffee is often met with the same amount of incomprehension as is reserved for all kinds of anomalies. What’s interesting though is how people react to this anomaly!
That same reluctant kid would turn around chuck the phone, notepad or whatever he was being engaged with and demand a sketchbook pronto. If not that day, I will see him or her appear the next weekend armed with a colouring book, efficiently applying a green crayon over a lion’s mane. Little victory!
Adults on the other hand need an acceptable reason for doing something they were weaned off in fifth grade. “You must be an architect/ engineer/designer.” – I am not asked this but told. Only then can they explain to themselves why I have the permission to sketch or paint and they don’t because they are none of these things.
I do it for fun, I say and am met with blank stares. Even an year ago I’d have been uncomfortable with such attention and would have looked up Craigslist for a cloak of invisibility. But not anymore. I’ve been sketching rather feverishly over the last couple of months to know that practice not only makes perfect, it also makes courage and confidence in reasonable amounts.
So now I hold my ground and sound convincing not to defend my actions lest I am adjudged frivolous but to get at least one of them to pull out the child that got buried under years of adulthood. And sometimes it works.
I am plied with questions starting from how expensive my sketchbook is to what paints I use to where I bought the paint box from. And then I’m invariably told how much each one of these people loved to draw when they were small.
I don’t see them wielding a sketchbook the next day or the week after but the stares become infrequent. Maybe some day I’ll catch one of them absentmindedly picking up a stray pencil and doodling the coffee mug they’ve been drinking from on the back of a receipt. What a big win that would be!
These sketches above are from my latest sketchbook of random people I’ve seen in various cafes in the city along with my observations. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I have enjoyed drawing them!
Your sketches are marvelous. You can try selling them by registering on sites that facilitate it.
What fabulous observations and sketches. Love them!
Thank you so much!!so glad you liked them😊
I really loved reading this! There’s something absolutely magical about the insights you have on strangers and your sketches 🙂 xx
Thanks a lot for your beautiful message! And I’m so glad you enjoyed my post and my sketches!
Really good drawings and observations. Very entertaining.
Thank you Paul!!!😀
And great to hear from you again!
these really are gorgeous! love their colorful and good humor, how you make the people pop out from the backgrounds
Thank you so much!! 😊
Your art and words really cheered me up today after such a shocking, scary and sad, election here in the US. Thank you!
Dear Genie, I am really glad my art and writing could offer you some respite and made you feel better. We are shocked and saddened to see the election results as well. Sending you good wishes and hugs all the way from Singapore!
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Hi Zezee, I’m really glad you like my illustrations! And because you linked to my blog I had a chance to look at your’s and was hooked immediately. I know I’m going to spend a lot of time there! I’m a ‘lover and hoarder’ of books too 🙂