(Little long, but hopefully you'll read)
When I first sold LMS to Paramount, a lot of people asked me: "How much money did you get?" "You're probably rich now, right?"
I mean, the solid gold mansion I bought was just a little gift to myself...but...
Ever since I was little, I've known I wanted to draw. From the day my parents put a pencil in my hand, this was my future. I just knew it, I had that gut feeling. So I stuck to it, and thankfully it took me to heights I'd have never imagined possible. Now with my new book Redemption heading off to studios soon for a hopeful movie package, I can't wait to see where this new road takes me.
That said, there's something else that tops all of this.
The other night I went out to visit my girlfriend's cousin and her family. Incredibly kind people with very sweet kids. Other than the two parents, there were 3 kids, but the one who caught my interest was the eight-year old boy, Diego.
Diego, shy, tiny, slender, reminded me of myself when I was his age. In other words, a little nerd. He was quiet, kept to himself, and shy...just like me. I asked his mom about what Diego was into, she replied with: "Halo and drawing."
At first, I could relate--as I, as a kid too, enjoyed videogames. But the drawing is what really grasped at my attention, so I asked Diego to bring me some art of his. He ran upstairs, then came back down with a battered up white sketchbook. Holding it to his side, almost hiding it, he walked up and handed it to me.
Look, not to be a jerk, but I imagined it to be little scribbles and what-nots. The kind where I have to put on the fake smile and say how good they are. But upon my surprise, I opened the book and was shocked. He was actually talented.
These weren't tiny doodles, or stick figures. These were actually carefully drawn renderings. From World War 2 planes, to soldiers fighting, Angry Birds, Halo, Great White Sharks and *gasp* Boba Fett.
I shut the book, and looked at my girlfriend Ana and went "Wow, this kid is me."
I looked at Diego, and asked him to promise me never to stop drawing and to keep continuing what he was doing. His mom told me his dad always wanted him to play sports, but he wasn't into it. This was ME as a kid, all over again. And then she told me the only part of sports he enjoyed was the snacks.
So I speak to his dad, whom is a really, really cool and nice guy. He tells me how he tried to get Diego to play sports, but he wasn't having it. Not that he didn't already, but I told him to please, continue to support his talent. To embrace it and cherish it and be his cheerleader. Because every kid needs that when she/he's growing up. Especially the one with a true talent.
After, I showed them my art on DA and my website. As I'm showing them, Diego is snapping pictures away on his Nintendo DS and telling me to open this one, and that one. He even told me that he's saved some of my work before. <3
After this, I find out Diego's mom has a tablet on her computer. So I get on it, and begin drawing. As I'm drawing, I see Diego (followed by immediate "AWWs") trying to lift a giant chair and sit next to me. He continues to watch as I draw him a Halo helmet.
Right after, his mom demands he goes and grabs his glasses. Now the similarities are uncanny. He comes down, with his own thick rimmed black glasses and puts them on. I tell him to sport his glasses, because those that wear them are boss-status.
He wears them the entire time.
After he goes to bed, my beautiful gf and I go home. I tell her how amazing that felt, and how money will never touch that. If I can go through my entire life, and inspire only one artist to continue his dream and feel the escapism and joy that I've felt creating. Then I've done my job.
The next morning, I get this message, and I know I've done it.
I've never felt so good before. I'm proud of you bud, and can't wait to see you flourish as an artist and kick ass.
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