I’m really bad at drawing people but that is just because I haven’t practiced enough. That’s because for a long time I didn’t find drawing people interesting but also because people are really hard to draw – or so it has always seemed to me. I mostly drew horses when I was a kid, then dragons and even old aeroplanes but interest in drawing people came much later. I find the faces particularly hard to figure out.

So it is a blessing that in scientific conferences, seminars and such there is seldom anything but the necks of the occupants in the rows before me to draw. No faces except for an odd partial profile. And they sit still most of the time (yes, some do snooze) but then suddenly they are taken over by a burst of fidgety energy and begin to fiddle with their noses, hair, pens, papers, laptops, calendars, even phones. Then it’s better just to give up and pick a new subject. But it usually has to be another person since apparently dullness is a mandatory requirement for conference rooms though sometimes a great view through a window saves the day.

These were done last August in a Aesthetics conference at the Aalto Univerity’s School of Art, Design and Architecture in Helsinki, Finland. The lady drawn in black on the left is Yuriko Saito, professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and the author of Everyday Aesthetics. I have had the privilege to get to know her though my Ph.D. studies in the research project Artification and It’s Impact on Art and she is has been such a great help to me. The lady drawn in blue had the most beautiful neck!