Last evening we met Art Baltazar, a comic book artist who graduated from our school back in '92. Attending his lecture was a real treat since I used to read Gorilla Gorilla on those lazy summer evenings in the Disney Adventures magazine when I was still a kid.
But meeting him was more than just an untapped nugget of nostalgia. What makes him especially influential to me is that he made a career out of drawing in the style that he loves to draw in. He didn't adhere to life or figure drawing because it isn't something he enjoyed doing. He recognized their assets, but he wanted to draw the way he wanted to and not try to copy someone else's style.
Gorilla Gorilla collage from artbaltazar.com
Afterwards, I asked that he draw Spider-Man in my sketchbook. It's not only a character that represents overcoming life's adversities, but his drawing serves as my own reminder to be true to yourself with your art. We must always remember that we have our own voice. Nurture it, don't suppress it.