1) If you’ve studied my later work (i.e. meeting-doodles), you will note that my style has remained remarkably consistent, but now includes more scribbly ballpoint shading and clothing styles ripped from Rent.
2) The placing of the subjects in this portrait is deceptive. There is no way to tell that the 1994-’95 varsity cheer squad was bitterly divided, with the somewhat nerdier, dance-oriented Cheryl, Bonnie, Kristy and Janell on one side, and the more popular, football-player-oriented Gina,
a. The picture was drawn at the beginning of the school year, when I was still full of youthful optimism that this squad would win competitions instead of engage in petty infighting, even though previous experience on drill team and JV cheer suggested otherwise.
b. Suspecting that others suspected my dislike of Hillary, I overcompensated, going so far as to draw myself with my arms raised excitedly, as if there were nowhere I’d rather be than next to the girl who barely spoke two words to me the entire year.
c. I was secretly in love with Hillary, and the picture represents my subconscious desires. But I don’t think so.
3) This piece was created during my Pentel Marker Period. The pinky-peach marker got a lot of use because
Key Club, which had 100-plus members, was certainly more diverse than the cheer squad, but not that much more. Again, I think wishful thinking may have influenced my art. Or perhaps, at age 17, I had spent a lot of time studying college brochures, which, no matter how white the school, featured a virtual U.N. of smiling students in their marketing materials.
4) Other influences savvy art historians will note include:
- varsity jacket lettering
- Bonnie Graham’s troll drawings of the mid-‘80s
- a guide to doing fancy lettering that was available through Scholastic books, again in the mid-‘80s
- the clean lines and exaggerated uniformity of actual cheer moves, including The High V, The Raised Fist, The Toe-Touch Prep and The Ready-Hit-It Hands-On-Hips