I recently found out that a former professor of mine, Bill Newell, died in April. Here is a caricature of him I doodled in my notebook during his senior seminar, 14 years ago. We weren’t at all close — I learned a lot about him from this lovely obituary, even read a few of his Goodreads reviews — but as the years go by, I respect more and more the education I received at the School of Interdisciplinary Studies that he helped create. For that, I thank him. (How odd it is that we usually only know the value of our educations in hindsight…)
Here’s another doodle, this one by Ric Ocasek, shared by his sons:
Our dad was a prolific doodler. His passing was sudden, unexpected, and beyond heartbreaking. Yesterday, we found this last doodle on his armchair. He couldn’t have known what it would end up meaning to us. We love him so much.
Aside from his great songs with The Cars, Ocasek, in his role as producer, did his own kind of educating. (The word “education” comes from the Latin word educare — “to lead or draw out.”) Just as the educator draws out the best of their students in the classroom, so does the producer draw out the best of musicians in the studio.
I’m thinking about this “drawing out” now, and drawing, and how, even in the roughest doodle, something very human is left behind, the image of the subject, yes, but also the hand of the drawer…