Artisan by Dan Joyce
My Model Maggie
Recently a woman I drew asked me, “Have you included the picture you drew of me in any of your books?”
I said, “No, but maybe in the future.”
“You would ask permission first, wouldn’t you?”
“Yes,” I said, “That is usually the case.”
The reason I said, “usually the case” is that I have some models that let me draw and include them in my promotions without having to ask permission, because I draw and use them regularly. That is clearly the case with my model Maggie.
I met Maggie at a gallery event many years ago. She was young, beautiful and charismatic. Impressed that I had some success writing and illustrating poetry books, she asked to see one of mine. When I showed one to her, she loved it. “Is this for me?” she asked. I told her it was. Actually, I was hoping to sell it to her, but enjoying the opportunity for future friendship, I gave it to her.
After that night, we began a texting relationship. She wanted to write and illustrate books herself and showed me immediately that she drew with similar style to my own. I offered her some suggestions, but Maggie had a go getter approach that she could just take the material I suggested and start at it. She joined the gallery’s poetry group and wrote avidly with our styles and a style of her own that showed a woman’s view as well as a passion for pop culture.
But what’s more, Maggie was a model, a beautiful young model who was not afraid to show herself in a daring way. I initially asked Maggie if I could draw pictures of her and she loved the idea. Now, I don’t really have to ask. Maggie just lets me.
I had a job working late and so did Maggie. We texted often our art and poetry after getting off a long shift. There is a modern slang, “textationship” meaning a relationship with a person based solely on texting, but Maggie has become one of my closest friends. Do I love her? Of course, she’s young, beautiful and artistically intelligent, but even I, as an old man, know my limitations. Nevertheless, Maggie and I have been through a lot and we paint and write and share about it all. Tonight I draw for you Maggie, my beautiful friend!