Unless [artists] can remember what it was to be a little boy, they are only half complete as artist and as man. – James Thurber
This may be the coolest art/autograph experience I’ve ever been a part of. This past Saturday the 12th, at AutographsInk, Mike Adams relief pitcher for the American League Champion Texas Rangers was appearing to do an autograph signing. As everyone who stops by is aware of, I’ve done a couple of paintings with Mike Adams as the subject. I thought it would be pretty cool to get his autograph on a painting. I don’t generally hang my own art on my own walls, but with an autographed piece I can definitely make an exception. It’s something that will be a part of my small personal collection.
The signing was scheduled for 11am, so I got there a bit early. I have to admit I was a bit nervous going in because you never know how someone is going to interpret a piece of art. What some people think is a treasure, others may think is complete garbage. I didn’t want to go in and have him not sign it because he thought it was terrible. And some athletes these days are such prima donnas these days and won’t sign original art work or items they really don’t care for. Or in some cases charge extra for autographing original art.
So, I grab the art and hit the store. After shooting it with a guy I used to work with, I proceed to the autograph area with painting in hand. I place it on the table in front of him, and before I could say a word, he looked up and asked me “Are you Jason?”, I took a second and said yes, and he told me that he had seen the painting online and wanted to see about getting the one I did with the paint splatter on it. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked that a) he knew who I was and b) that he liked it enough to want one. Luckily I had the one he wanted in the car with me. So I went out and got it and brought it in for him. We talked a bit and I took off, probably with a grin as big as Tyler had when he told us he made first chair in band.
A couple of miles down the road I realized that I didn’t get any photos of him with the art, so I turned around and went in and got a couple of shots of Mike with his new art work. This was without a doubt the best experience I’ve ever had with a professional athlete. He seemed genuine, he took the time to talk to everyone, and overall was a pretty cool guy. I wish more athletes had his attitude today.