Part 1 The Early Years.
As far back as I can recall I was always drawing something. Even in the womb I was drawing nutrients.
Sand Eaters Inc.
In kindergarten there was 3 types of people. Glue drinkers, eraser munchers, and sand eaters. If I recall correctly I was a sand eater. Probably the healthiest choice. I was also prone to eating play- doh, until my teachers starting cutting it with salt.
It is interesting to see ones drawings from early childhood. I was fortunate enough that my parents kept most of my illustrations. I reviewed them a couple months back. Curious as to what it is that makes me tick, some sort of clue in the scribblings that would show a connection to what I am now. What I discovered is that most of my work was very heavily detailed. Overtly detailed even. Verging on the point of insanity. That affliction still prevails in my work today. I have an uncontrollable need to keep adding more and more extraneous details. Some strange fear of wasting space perhaps.
As a child I drew lots of images with blood, well not my blood. What I mean to say is that I liked to draw gory things. Vampyres mostly. Fanged creatures, I was obsessed with ghosts and the macabre. After school I would spend countless hours with a friend making comic books. The comics were usually based on horror movies that we watched repetitively. I recall the sexual scenes in the films we watched being fuzzy and warbled, presumably caused by constant rewinding and pausing.
My first claim to fame happened In grade 3. I was awarded an honorable mention by Stephen King in a short story competition. My story was about an insane ice-cream truck driver who chopped up children and sold their body parts as frozen treats. It was called “Eye Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Eyescream.” Perhaps that was the first time I figured I might have some sort of redeemable talent.
Art class was always my favorite subject. It was the one class that not even the school took seriously. Having good grades in art class didn’t really count as anything. Art class was utterly useless in the eyes of most parents, teachers, and students. Art and music instructors were the only teachers that liked me, or moderately tolerated me. Art class in the prairies was mostly comprised of gluing Chiclets on a rabbits mouth for Easter or tracing yer hand to make a Thanks Giving turkey.
I had a strange habit of breaking all my pencil crayons in half and tossing them out the 2nd story window. To my surprise I was discovered. Perhaps it had something to do with each crayon saying “Property of Lyle” printed on them. It was a very odd thing to be caught doing. Standing there at the teachers desk, looking down at a pile of broken pencil crayons and dirt. Was it really a punishable crime? Can’t a man break his pencils and throw them out a 2nd story window if he damn well pleases?!
Speaking of pencil crayons and art, I have a very vivid memory of an instance that perhaps shaped my life as a creative individualist thinker forever. One day in English class a student spilled her pencil crayons all over the floor. When this sort of thing happened, the whole class for some sick reason would stare at the person and sing Happy Birthday. I did not. My Pink little brain instructed me to look the other way. To this day I still do the same thing. I feel disgust doing anything other people are doing. I also make sure not to look down when I cross the cross walk. Almost everyone else does. Its hard not to do. Try it next time. I double dare you!