MOVING TO BALTIMORE
I’ve moved to Baltimore. My girlfriend, whom I think is alright and want to continue to live with, went here for grad school. So I sold the majority of my artwork, packed everything else, got on a Budget truck and we drove down to the land of blue crabs and HBO’s the wire.
It’s been extremely hot the first two months but now that the weather is starting to cool, we’ve finally started exploring our new neighborhood. Before I moved here, I was told that Baltimore is like a grittier Boston. I understand that now. I mean, I currently live in what was described to me as a “Oooh Faaan-cy” neighborhood near a major university. So I can’t really speak about the “dangerous” neighborhoods too much. Yes, there are sketchy parts. But what major city doesn’t have sketchy parts? I mean I remember moving to Roslindale, MA, a part of Boston that’s not even really known for being dangerous, and two weeks after moving in, my girlfriend gets shot in the face with BB gun, some cops knock on our door asking when was the last time we saw our neighbor, there were two different homicides that happened two blocks away from us, and then a different neighbor had cops watching his apartment because he was under witness-protection.
Ok, I will say this about one of my first Baltimore experiences. Late one night our trusty GPS had us driving through an empty street full of abandoned (but, like occupied….?) houses with tattered clothed people just sitting (some sleeping…god I hope they were sleeping) on stoops, there were even some who fit the stereotypical image of hobos pushing shopping carts full of what looked like garbage through a cracked sidewalk which had overgrown weeds. I was telling this to a friend and they asked, “Have you ever seen that much poverty in real life?”
And I thought “no”… but holy sh** I have! I suddenly remembered growing up in Caloocan City in Manila, Philippines. Surrounded by neighbors living in corrugated metal and scrap wood shanty houses. To quote Jim Kelly in “Enter the Dragon” “Ghettos are the same all over the world. They stink” It’s a shame and it’s ugly, but again what major city doesn’t have this type of problem? And really, that’s just one negative experience in a majority of positive ones. Ever since moving here, I’ve met interesting people, joined a Lindy hop class, hung out with international students, found great places to eat, and met lots of artists. It really does remind me of Boston, except less expensive.
Speaking of artists, I’m slowly exploring the art scene and this place is huge on the visual arts. Everywhere I go there’s a mural of some beautiful artwork. Someone I talked to described the Baltimore art scene as “An Art scene without an ego.” Whatever that means, it sounds promising.
WORKING ON SOME NEW ART
I decided to rekindle my love for charcoal. I wasn’t sure if I remembered how to use the medium. It’s been so long since I’ve created something with that stuff. So as an experiment, I drew my cousin.
Now confident that I remember how to use these things, I started on my series:
I have a few more ideas to draw so…uh… more to come.
My whole VICISSKETCHY tumblr page is dedicated to my drafting skills, so most of the stuff I post on there are from the pages of my sketchbook. When I’m in need of a subject to draw, I go through a list of topics in my head. These are things I always find pleasure in drawing, whether it be star trek, or halloween-related things, or Dr.Who they are always things I enjoy sketching. One of these topics are capoeira-related things.
I call these, “Capoeira studies”
I wish more people did Capoeira. I joined a capoeira club here but so far we’ve had one class and two cancelled classes, so I’m hoping there will be more full classes than cancelled ones so that I can continue sketching these.