Monday, July 24, 2006

Ambidexterity

What? I have a blog?? Crikey, I guess I'd better update it.

A little known Keith Champagne factoid is that I'm naturally left-handed, although my mother raised me to be right-handed. I'm not sure why it was important to her and it's not important to me at all but regardless, I have a pretty high level of dexterity with my opposite hand. Growing up, I've always unconsciously done things with my opposite side. I eat left-handed. I'm much more comfortable boxing southpaw. Even playing kickball growing up, I always kicked with my left leg.

I'm goofy, what can I say?

When I was in the Kubert School, I had a teacher named Tex Blaisdell. Tex was a grizzled old cartoonist, equally kind and crusty. Everyone loved him. He had spent most of his career inking, everything from Green Lantern to Superman to Batman during the 60's, 70's, and 80's. He also did a lot of newspaper strips, Little Orphan Annie being one that comes immediately to mind. Tex passed away about six or seven years ago after a lifetime of good, hard living.

Tex was famous for being able to draw equally well with both hands. If I remember the story correctly, he drank his way through a deadline and passed out at his drawing board, his drawing arm pinned underneath his torso. When he woke up however many hours later, his right arm was useless. He had damaged it somehow and it took literally months for his arm to regain its mobility.

So Tex didn't skip a beat. He just taught himself to draw and ink with his left hand and honed his dexterity to such a high level that he was equally skilled with either hand. He used to joke that once his right arm healed, he could work twice as fast. Who knows, maybe he wasn't joking?

This is my long-winded way of saying that, inspired by Tex, this past weekend I started
sketching with my left hand. The end results seem pretty much the same to me, a little looser and sketchier but the information is all there. I think I'm going to continue working this way. I have some wacky theory that drawing with my opposite hand taps into the opposite side of brain and somehow makes me more creative or something weird like that.

So my plan here is to draw something left handed and then ink it with my right and post it up when I'm finished. I don't have a lot of free time to produce artwork when I'm not getting paid for it but hopefully, the experimental nature of this piece will inspire me to see it all the way through.

So stay tuned and let's see what happens.

5 comments:

robskiles said...

Brother,

It's no surprise here that you are equally proficient with both hands. Historically genius and ambidexterity have gone hand in hand....:)

Just read this website: http://www.mind-course.com/ambi.html

You should draw a picture with one hand and the same picture with the opposite hand. It would be interesting to see the differences, even if subtle. Perhaps one side of the brain will show us something different.

Spellbound said...

This will be cool. looking forward to the artwork.

Chris Yeoman said...

Sweet! I've been wanting to see a sketch by you for ages! ;) Looking forward to it!

MrNinja said...

This is great! I can't wait to see the results.

Hopefully it will also have a great impact on your kickball game as well. The World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) is starting up teams in CT as we speak and we'll need your dual leg kicking powers.

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