Everyone likes getting complimented whether they take them well or not. I'm no exception, and as an added bonus, I take compliments very badly. So my favorite compliments are the backhanded ones that I get from time to time...the surface niceness barely covers the potentially searing insult underneath. Here are three of my faves...two are work-related:
a) I was working on a fun show with a young supervising director. We're going over the notes he had on one of my boards. Generally we're cracking jokes, laughing a lot, raising a ruckus and having fun. He's very funny and very talented and I think he's a cool guy. Anyway, he's riffling through the board randomly and then mutters, "You know what I like about your drawing style? There's no style to it!"
Excuse me? I say with a raised eyebrow.
Uhhhhhh... he says, as he realizes how that really sounds...No, what I mean is...uhhhh, your natural style is very adaptable to whatever show you work on...(insert stammering and sweating here)....
The thing is? He's right. I have a non-style and I tend to mimic the style of whatever show I'm working on at the moment into my boards and whatnot. But it sure was funny to watch him squirm for those few minutes.
b) One day over the summer I was talking with one of the fellow supervising directors on the last job I was on about last year's project that we had both storyboarded on. He's Mr. Action Show guy and can be rather intimidating. For the first month I worked with him I had a mantra that I kept repeating to myself over and over in my head along the lines of, I'm Not Afraid, I'm Not Afraid, I'm Not Afraid...
He says to me with an air of casual authority, "I saw your boards from last year. They're very charming, even though you didn't draw them on-model."
Gee, thanks! I said.
"No, really, the board worked out anyway." he says in a sorta-semi-reassuring tone. Well, that makes it all better, doesn't it?! I still have no idea whether he actually thinks I can draw worth a damn. But on the project I was the resident doofus while he was the resident action sequence dude, so we each had our place on the production.
c) I was having dinner with some of the Tejas expatriates at Vitello's a couple of weeks ago. For the occasion I actually wore some makeup and the now-standard huge earrings. One of the guys came up to me and commented on said makeup and earrings. I said, "Yeah, I thought I'd dress as a girl for once." to which he replied, "You look good as a girl!" Which doesn't sound too back-handed here, but his verbal delivery is so delightfully deadpan it just makes one wonder!
Here's a sneak preview of the shirt design I did for one of the events that I'm going to this weekend:
I'll post the back of the design when I get back next week.