Never say “never”

Never say “never”. We’ve all heard the phrase more times than we likely care to. Typically because not long after uttering “never” to some request, we find ourselves doing whatever it was we said we’d never do. And so it was.

I’ve been known to support a car event or two and it’s been my pleasure over the past few years to be able to help the Central Coast British Car Club out in California with the donation of gift certificate for a print from among any in the current catalog. Typically it’s a pretty straightforward kind of thing. The happy winner, goes to the web site or calls me and redeems the certificate for one of my illustrations. Easy peasy…or so I thought.

Not long after last year’s event, I received a call from the certificate winner who said he had been through the catalog and there several illustrations he had an interest in but what he’d really like is a drawing of an MG YA. Now, I’ve been know to draw some pretty eclectic fare (Swallow Doretti, SPL 227 and the like) but never a YA and, admittedly, didn’t even know what it was.  While he was continuing to tell me the story of the car—purchased by his father and used as a daily driver then ending up being restored by himself and his son—I looked up the YA and it was clear the MG wasn’t really the kind of thing I usually do. That said, the car’s story and the family’s love for it through three generations was so intriguing I couldn’t say “no”.

And that, friends, is my never say “never” story and real life that proof that a good illustration starts with a story. Maybe it’s the car’s provenance or its engineering, racing accomplishments or about the people behind the design. Whatever it is, if the story is interesting you can bet the art will be too.