Posted by: nastypen | September 14, 2008

I Should Start Living Up to the Wrong Impression

I was at a bookstore flipping through pages of art books. An old gentleman spoke to me about art. Now, I wasn’t in the mood to talk because I am exhausted from checking exams (which I have not yet finished), so I turned my ditz mode on. “Are you an artiste?” He asked. Yup, that is with an “E.” And for your information, an artiste with an “e” is a dancer and singer. So, I answered “I try to be” and giggled. He said with conviction, “If you always try to be one, you will never be one.”

So I humored the guy. “Ok, I AM an artiste.”

I returned browsing through my book hoping he’d get the idea that I am not in the mood. He did not relent. he was asking me about sculpture. I just smiled and shrugged. He pointed at the polymer clay book workshop and asked “what’s this?” I told him in this way, “Polymer….uhhh…clay….is, like….you know….clay stuff….which they uh…make thingees….and uh like put them in an over or something….and uh fry them or something to be hard…but they are like so colorful and stuff.”

He sighed and said, “Why do we need to rely on industry to provide us materials for our art. Before, artists used to make their own paints, now they buy it in the tube. So, what if these things are not available anymore? what happens then?”

I said with enough bimbo inflection to make Jessica Simpson sound like a financial analyst at Bloomberg TV, “I don’t know…like…it’s gonna be the death of art or something?”

He hollered, “YES!”

He then urged me to let go of the book and try to make my own paint. That I should not rely on books and industry anymore that I should make my art materials from scratch.

I just giggled, “But that’s like soooo hard. And like it’s gonna be soooo expensive.”

The gentleman gave me a look-through from top to bottom and said, “Expensive? From the looks of it, you can pretty well afford it.”

I wanted to bash the guy’s head with a copy of “Logotype Book.” That should be heavy enough for a concussion.

I think he saw the flash of violence in my eyes. He patted my back and said “Good luck, artiste.” And I pumped my fist up and squealed, “Yey, go me!”

there it is again….that impression that I am rich. I guess it is not their fault to think so. I am corpulent, with muddled mestizo traits, with delicate hands. Plus, it probably didn’t help that i sounded like a SoCal Mall rat.

I should just start living up to that wrong impression.

Of course, that is impossible from what UP pays me. Another professor said, “They pay the Pegasus girls more than a what full UP Professor gets.” Pegasus is a joint that offers guest relations officers with tips ranging into the thousands. I think I may not qualify as a Pegasus girl…I’m just…too hairy?  Mind you, I am not a full UP professor. I’m way below the food chain.

I should just not fight the impression. It’s hard debating with people telling them that I am in a financial bind while they stare at my jiggling layers of fat. It’s also that horrid assumption that fat people are always jolly.

Oh well….it is hard to fight these impressions.

This is why when I got a call yesterday to appear on a television show asking to talk about comic strips, I declined. First, why would I talk about a strip nobody reads? Second, I do not want to appear on a TV show ever again. Third, it would be hard telling the world that life of a cartoonist in the Philippines is hard and riddled with financial uncertainty….then they get a good look at me and start brushing off my “Poverty sucks” statements. No, I don’t want this kind of exposure.

The caller said that this is the perfect opportunity for me to market my comic strip. Their show is telecast all over the planet with that cable channel for OFWs. The last time I was interviewed for a TV show, the reporter told the audience that I will go to Harvard. I just said I wish I’d go to Harvard if I can afford it. So, after that, relatives called their congratulations and I had to explain it was an act of sarcasm.

So, no, this is just too much exercise of wrong impressions that I can handle.

I suggested certain cartoonists who are legendary to be fame-whores. I’m sure that these cartoonists will be oh so ready to extol on the achievements and marketability of their comic strips. I am just not up to this kind of gratification.

I am too busy making money so that I may live up to the impression that I am rich. hahahaha

Besides, I checked out my schedule and it seems the TV interview will be in conflict with a lecture I will attend at UP Diliman. Hmmmm….television? or education? Which will I choose? I choose the one with no money at all.

God. I am so stupid.



  1. i enjoyed that bookshop anecdote, a pleasant surprise seeing as i was only poncing about doing a search for coping or coping mechanisms and all that gufffff.

  2. well, i hope my posts aren’t that much of a guff.

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