As Pride Month (June) came to a close and July, a month commemorating Freedom, began, I finished my portrait of Bryan Hawn on 07/01/16, which he graciously shared on his Facebook and Instagram pages. I was the first to do this, and other artists-namely digital- have followed the precedent.
Here was his comment:
“Thank you Thomas B. Howard for sharing your amazing talent. You have a beautiful gift, and I am honored that you would use me as a subject for your work. You are just awesome!”
The moment the drawing depicts is from a music video of his for Sia’s “Bird Set Free”, when he scaled a 2 mile glacier to sing among the penguins. He then rock-climbed down a 100 ft cliff without any safety gear to commiserate with the elephant seals and discuss the importance of being true to oneself, despite some nay-saying.
I put time aside and cumulatively did that on top of everything else. It was slow and he responded to my updates with words of encouragement. The time it takes to work like this, while staying true to my oath, is overwhelming, but I feel there was no better time to draw him and finish drawing him than on the cusp of two times when people celebrate and declare who they are.