"Why don't you just draw people on Discord?" a Norwegian friend in Germany asks me. I'm just not sure how to make that work.
Flash forward a year. A Taiwanese university friend invites me to a small reunion. We're using Kumospace, a cool technology that allows your virtual avatar to move and mingle in the room to hold side conversations or hear what others in the group have to say. Way better than Zoom.
One of the mingling alums is a Taiwanese MD. He came to my university after I had already left, so we didn't know eachother. "I've heard about you from a few people," he tells me when the event ends. Yeah, I had sorta drawn every student at our dorm two years in a row. Visitors would walk through our halls and wonder who was the mystery artist drawing students by their doors. So my story spread farther than my own academic years. "I'd like to hear more about your story," he continues. "And if you ever make it to Taiwan, I'd love for you to draw my portrait, too."
Well, there's a new normal now. So it's time to give a new hardware setup a try. I tilt two cameras, join the same call, and now can do a live drawing remotely. Though the pixels on the screen aren't quite as clear, though there's a lag between what's said and when it's heard, though I can't physically hand the portrait over when it's done...it's the new normal.
Oh, and it also means I can easily record the whole thing.
Our conversation went on for two more hours. Talking with academics makes for fascinating conversations, if you put in the effort. Watch the portrait process and conversation in the linked YouTube video.