((Arthur continued from Encyclopedia of Ignorance
Arthur still couldn't believe just how productive his day yesterday had been. He managed to draw a whole three pencil drawings in his book and still had time left over from the whole affair to hash out the details of this novel idea he had the week before. How could that day have been any better, really? Maybe if he'd gone to see a movie he really liked, or if he'd seen a new video from one of his favorite internet shows.
Then again, looking at those drawings again in the morning filled him with regret. He remembered the main reason why he was so hesitant in making drawings like that, as opposed to full-blown sketches, with such speed. The sketching step existed for a reason, so that errors could be fixed while that was still an easy task. Last night he'd breezed through that under the assumption that he was a good enough artist that he didn't need feedback from others on every single step of the process. Now those worries came flooding back, and he clenched his fist just looking at all of those drawings.
Could he trust his own judgment on the objective quality of his work? Probably not. Once he'd heard that everyone was their own worst critic, both in the sense of harshness and inaccuracy. Thankfully, he personally knew of someone who had never steered him wrong in the past. Sometimes her words could seem like abuse to the untrained ear, but she always, always gave him advice and steered him right.
Sharon Austin was his opposite in quite a few ways. He was tall and stocky, she was short and less than half his weight. He played the nice doormat so he didn't have to confront people (at least face to face), while she spoke her mind and subscribed to the tough love approach. She always seemed like she was so sure of himself, and he second-guessed himself almost all the time. Thankfully they both loved to read, or else he probably would never have given her a chance.
Unfortunately, his first avenue for reaching Sharon, the internet, proved fruitless. She wasn't on Skype or AIM and Arthur couldn't remember if she used any other instant messenging service, let alone her screen names. Just as he was about to leave her an email, he decided to try calling her, and got directed to the park.
His master plan hit a snag when he saw Sharon, or more specifically, saw her with a mutual acquaintance, Steve Salazar. Salazar was an unknown to Arthur, for the most part. He was comfortable enough with him to make small talk, but these drawings were personal. He didn't show them to just anyone, at least not in real life. Would he be able to work up the nerve to show Sharon those drawings with him around?
The two of them were talking about their future when Arthur walked up to them, making his entry even more awkward. Thankfully he saw that there was a pause in her conversation, and he took the opportunity to speak. "Well, um, I think I may have already said what I wanted. I'm looking at going to art or writing school and writing a novel or something. I think I'd really like art school, right?"
He scratched his head and brought the sketchbook he held in his hand up in front of his chest. Would Sharon be able to get what he wanted if he just tapped the cover with his finger? Sometimes he liked to try those little hints when he was too scared to just come out with what he wanted... except that really annoyed Sharon the last time he did it with her. So he just sighed and decided to swallow his pride.
"So, um, when you get a moment from talking about the future, do you think, you know, you could give these last few a look? Well, last couple. I'm not sure if this one is too silly for you or not." He held out the sketchbook for her to look through and gave Stephen a nervous glance.