Line Drawing

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FORT WAYNE, Ind.(WPTA21)-Most artists crave attention and public approval for what they create. Most artists, but not all.

Kind of like art diary,” says illustrator Frank Tadeo. “I draw about myself or an idea of that day. I call it art diary.”

Just like a conventional written diary Frank Tadeo puts down his thoughts and adventures in pictures, reminding him of where he’s been or what he’s done or what he’s seen. Today he’s working on an image of a clothing store he visited with mannequins dressed in all sorts of fashion. Frank Tadeo’s been drawing for fifty years, since age six when he watched his father draw a pony.

I said ‘dad, how did you do that?’ and he says ‘well, just get a pencil…whatever you have in your mind just put it down and then you’ll create it’, Frank recalls.

What Frank Tadeo creates are simple illustrations, often abstract images; a bandstand with instruments as if the band has just left the stage. Open boxes with freshly unpacked toys and utensils. This is his bedroom with a picture on the wall of San Haviar Church in Tuscon where his mother prayed for her baby’s health after Frank was born three months prematurely. Tadeo is a machinist by trade, a working class guy whose hobby is making working class art, not for show or accolade but for himself. He’s done more than four thousand drawings most of which he keeps. His work isn’t always abstract, some of it is realistic, this charming little illustration is called ‘Clowning Around’. And these folks, working class stiffs, lined up at a factory payroll window waiting for their weekly checks. Stories of the hard working middle class, where they live and work and what they do for fun. For Frank Tadeo it’s recording with pencil what appears in his head. He’s thinks he might publish some of his work as coloring books but for now, he’s just too busy watching the world go by.

I get inspired by something I see at work or somebody tells me a story and I’m already creating that drawing as they’re speaking to me and then I put it down on a piece of paper,” he explains. “I just do it one at a time, one at a time. No use rushing it. I have a long life ahead of me I hope to be 100 years old and still continue doing it.”

Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.

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