I went to a company holiday party a few nights ago, at the insurance company I am getting training in. The people there were, as always, a happy and vibrant bunch, and because most are part timers (or were part timers that became full time), one always meets a varied and interesting bunch of people. Ffrom software engineers to teachers to unemployed or under employed, retired business people, you name it, you can probably find someone from a given demographic or ethnic background. I was expecting to reconnect with some of my new friends, and I did, briefly. But the place was packed, we were in a small room because of reconstruction, and there were no places to sit. So I had to sit away from them a bit. I thought I arrived early (half an hour early according to my notes), but it seemed almost everyone else was an hour earlier than that!
However, it was fortunate for me in the sense I got to meet some new people. One of them was a fellow named Daryl. Daryl, like so many other people in the country, was laid off from his job. He was probably a little older than I, but not too much. We had a lot of similarities to share. We both were easy going, liked music, liked to laugh, and grew up in similar times and backgrounds. Most importantly for our following conversation, he was an artist. He happened to have his art there to share.
Daryl is untrained and unschooled in the arts, but no matter. He proved to me, just like many of my favorite artists, that one doesn’t need a degree to be good. He has an innate sense of style, rhythm, design and form. His work was dynamic and interesting to me.
He is a very good draftsman that had a surrealistic style woven in with snake-like sensuous word-patterns and poetry. He did all this with pen-and-ink, on paper. We talked about his art. He wanted to take his art to a broader audience. His art is extremely message based, and in a positive way, too. I gave my two cents on what I thought of his art, and why. Why I made art (which turned out why he did art too), and how how he could get his art out to a broader audience for free by using print-on-demand sites.
He listened intently, and he was almost brimming with possibilities in his eyes. In two very intense hours I helped take him from sketching on paper to feeling like he could conquer the world! It made me very happy to do so. It was infectious to me. I love nothing more than teaching and helping. Especially when I can see such potential like Daryl, who has done the work (he has 100’s of pages of finished work) and just needs one little tweak to set him off in a direction that might help him achieve his dreams. We shook hands, and we both walked out happy and renewed. If only all days could be like this!