September 24, 2010

Here, just take it.

Tram Ticket sketches  © Evelyn Howard 2010

When my husband and I arrived at our local cafe for breakfast a few days ago, I was disappointed that I forgot to bring my sketchbook. I had my pens with me, and I found a couple of old tram tickets in my wallet.

I started to doodle and when the waitress came, she gave her compliments and added “can I have it?” I was pleased with the positive feedback, but shocked at her request, simply because:

  • Not many people – especially strangers – have asked to be given my work before, and
  • Did she think because I was drawing on old tram tickets that I was not planning to keep them, therefore can she have them? I know they are just doodles, but I was planning to hang on to them.

I said “no”, but then because she had a foreign accent, I thought that it could be a cultural misunderstanding. Maybe in her culture, it was ok to ask, even if it seems outright, and of strangers. So, after I said “no”, I said I would scan and bring her copy next time I visit. She seemed rather thrilled. I am glad to give her a copy – sometimes it doesn’t take much to make someone else happy.

But I wouldn’t want to make it a habit (not that there is a queue for my work).

What would you have done?

Creative Every Day


Dragana Savkov - Bajić said...

I love your blog! Your drawings are amazing! Even your doodles on tram tickets are awesome! :)))

dosankodebbie said...

These tram ticket sketches INSPIRE me! As to what I would have done... I don't think it would occur to me to say no (a side-effect of being raised in Japan?). I might have asked if I could scan them first for my own records, and then given away the original. Maybe I don't have a strong enough self-identity as an artist yet. Your declining to give away the original, and then offering to bring her a copy, probably raised the value of the gift immeasurably in her eyes.

ines said...

hmm, I like your work, can I queue?

I've never been in your situation, well, maybe similar but not identical. I do these stone carvings and sometimes people fall in love with them there and then. But they are very meaningful pieces for me and the one I carry on me is rather special to me.

But here is the thing, I've lost my personal pebbles twice now. And I'm not that sad about it. I can always make myself another one. And i think I might have lost them for others to be found, subconsciously giving them away to strangers. They are too precious not to be appreciated by anyone who could find them and in knowing that I'm happy for them to go on their own journey to follow their own destiny. And so i think, if someone else asks you like that, would it be much different to a scenario where you had lost them? Would you feel different if you had lost or washed them in your back pocket (yes, that frequently does happen with train tickets in my house...). Would you be sad? Or laugh and sit down and draw again?

Food for thought. Maybe. :-)

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

I love these Evelyn - and knowing the size of out tickets, you've managed to get quite a bit of detail in a small space.
What would I have done? I don't know. "Doodling" on a paper serviette just for something to do while you're waiting for your coffee and you knwo you don't intend to take it home with you is different to the situation you were in. I'd possibly have answered the same as you. It was kind of you to offer to scan them though, that was a nice thing to do.
Have a good Friday.☺

nanke's stuff said...

This is my first visit to your blog, and I really enjoyed my stay! I probably would have given the tram tickets away (and then regretted it for a bit) because my first inclination is to say yes when someone asks me for something. (My sister knew this about me and once asked me for my only TV because ONE of hers was broken - it might have been my first NO!) lol

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