I remember when I realized that I was an artist.

I was a junior in high school.

I was failing Algebra.

 Instead of art, I had to take a second math class.

Back to back.


Four hours of embarrassment.

I drew a woman with hair that spun out into tree roots.

"Oh, shit. I'm an artist."

I bought all the supplies I could afford.


 I filled one sketchbook after another.

One was all oil pastels, another was colored pencils. Markers. India ink. Wood and chisel. Metal etchings.

I drew till I had blisters.

I saw the first Wacom monitor in a Fry's Electronics.


I stood at the end of the book aisle watching the demo loop.


I got bought a cheap tablet. I designed textures and skins for Second Life. I made lists of the things I would draw someday.

Books of ideas on my living room shelf.

A lifetime of ink.


A company in Japan (Yiynova) developed the same size monitor at a higher quality for half the cost. I waited.


I got married. Divorced.

Lived with my best friend.

Buried people I loved.

Went to college.

I found a job, building up my digital studio one software package at a time.

Always practicing. Reading. Watching.



I found the monitor on eBay. Four pixels out on the right hand side.


I put in my bid and waited three days.



Three days is forever.

What's three days to 15 years?

I watched the final clock tick down the seconds.

When I won the bid, I screamed a little.

Now I am drawing the things I said I would make. Checking ideas off a lifetime's worth of images. Clearing out the storeroom of imagination.

Things got a little crowded in my head. 17 years is a long time to shore up Some Days.

Dear 16 year old.

You're an artist.

Not a  moment was wasted on that pursuit. So you got a C in Algebra. Go ahead and buy that pack of colored pencils. Never sharpen them in an electric sharpener.

You'll waste your lead.

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