So at the start of 2016 I was given another brief from The Wild Sam team. This time it was to illustrate the LA guide. This city has been on my travel hit list for the past year or so. Last time I visited was almost 8 years ago and I knew a lot had changed in that time. Oddly, it also felt as though all I had heard recently was LA this and LA that. And what I am finding more and more now days, is once I start being much more aware of a city or a destination, I end there without almost trying. Yes, I do believe in the Universe giving us what we need and when we need it.
And so I travelled from Cape Town, to London (via Hockney at The Tate Britain, and oh what a retrospective! And so relevant with all his California work) then on to LA. I was armed with my usual portable studio essentials, my camera, iPad, stylus pens and sketchbooks. I saw a lot. I drew a lot. And spent a lot on Uber’s. That city is not made for pedestrians, or even bicycles. It’s a beast, it’s beautiful. I fell in love. The palm trees, they’re so, so good. And thanks to the Hockney retrospective exhibition I felt in no way like a crazy lady sketching them and painting them endlessly. As clearly, Hockney had fallen in love with LA and its magnificent skinny and endless palms. They’re the best I have ever seen – sorry Cape Town. It’s a very inspiring and creative city.
Perhaps the best part of this story is that on my very last night, a friend who works as a Director in La La land came through through with the ULTIMATE Sunday night outing. A ticket to The Oscars.
And so just like a perfect fairy tale ending to my LA story, I somehow ended up on the red carpet, and at bars with Hollywood finest. It was by far the most exciting and surreal evening of my life. Truly a ‘Once in a lifetime’ evening, filled with endless other once in a life time moments, as I seriously doubt I will have an opportunity to speak to Emma Stone again – yes, I just name dropped that one. Which is why its so beautiful to be invited to such an event.
I had all these wonderful moments of trying to take it all in whilst at the same time trying to make the most of it and seizing every bizarre star studded opportunity – should it arise. How very LA of me! I also tripped on Scarlett Johansson’s dress, perhaps not the best moment seized, but still, a rare moment nonetheless. Despite this, I honestly feel me and this city could work very well together.
I left LA the very next day with a true sense that I had really done that city well, and knowing that I will return, and soon.