I’m afraid this virtue might be fleeting as many are discouraged about choosing a direction that ends up back where they started. It’s nice to know the investment pays off, but is it just the aimless turning of a crank, or do we control the outcome? Why wouldn’t you want to be an architect? Is it not enough?
It takes more than brains to reach this destination.
When I was in the fifth grade, I had a love affair with Marvel Comics. Three other classmates of mine at a private Christian school would spend our recess periods rambling on about the latest edition of Spider-Man (ask Jon) or Iron Man (my favorite) or Tim who favored Daredevil. Avengers, the Hulk (that was Kevin) and those Avengers (prior to RDJr and the current movie series) would occasionally pop into our dialogue. No, we were not the cool kids, but those were good days when the worst thing was wearing a uniform that consisted of red, white or blue clothing. I was often bored in school, so I took to drawing. It seemed natural, it felt comfortable, it was me.
Comic books, I suppose it is what boys do or at least something innocent that some boys should read. Talking sports didn’t occur often even though I did collect baseball cards for one year and memorized the roster of the 1975 Pittsburgh Pirates. Video games were far from existence. I didn’t always fit in. Clearly, I learned that drawing these characters was mesmerizing as I spent hours studying the lines, proportions and inking techniques of legends like John Buscema, Jack Kirby, and Bob Layton. They had a style, a technique and a knack that I had to replicate.
To be honest, at ten or eleven years old, I never came that close, but I’ll admit that thirty years ago, I wanted to draw like these guys so much that I did it – repeatedly. In fact, on occasion, I would use tracing paper (foreshadowing) to draw over top of the covers so I could learn how to move my hand to train my brain, to capture the fluid movement and proportion. Time moves on, but I still get excited three decades later – check an Instagram post of mine from 10 June 2017.
Those days faded abruptly as I moved on to junior high in 1979, but the memory is still fresh. Through this blog, I’ve shared excerpts of the transition to architecture. Fortunately, an instrumental art teacher picked up the slack with inspiring creativity. Before I knew it, I was drawing houses, learning one and two-point perspective and telling everyone I was going to be an architect as sure as the sun was going to come up tomorrow. Simple. This felt right.
Ambition. It’s vital, yet fleeting. It tends to run out before we even see the finish line, let alone cross it. I find that disappointing, actually a bit deflating.
I hope I never lose it, what else would I do?