As a kid, I like to draw pictures.
But being left-handed, stuck in those damned right-handed desks at school,
I have a hard time making drawings that aren’t lopsided and weird.
The other kids, being kids, tease me about the bizarre scrawls on my paper.
So at the bitter age of 10, I figure out how to make the teasing stop:
I quit drawing.
I make up a story,
And the story is, “I can’t draw.”
In 1989, I’m in L.A. recording what will become Trouble No More.
Sitting in the studio, bored, scratching on a newspaper with a pencil,
I accidentally draw a tree.
Immediately, I cover the drawing up, afraid someone will see it.
A few seconds later, I move my hand. It’s still there.
Suddenly I’m 9, sitting in the back of the class,
Lost in the land of crayons and construction paper.
It feels good. I start to teach myself to draw again.
Now when I travel, I fill notebooks with weird little black-and-white pictures.
There’s not a straight line to be found, and it doesn’t matter.
I don’t make these images to show people.
I don’t need a gallery wall for proof they’re valid.
The doing of it is all that matters now.
Sometimes I think about all those years I spend believing that story
I tell myself when I’m 10: the story of no.
Because I listen back then, I miss out on a lot of joy,
A lot of time dragging ink across a page.
Don’t listen to the teasers.
Draw the pictures.