Look! Someone Drew You

Local Artist Draws Inspiration from MySpace

Legault finds inspiration from MySpace. Graphic Nicole Aline Legault

In 2006, Nicole Aline Legault started a project called Look I Drew You, drawing friends and strangers’ MySpace pictures that today form a collection of more than two hundred ink drawings.

“It kind of started out as a joke,” said Legault.

“All throughout university I worked every Saturday morning and my roommates were always loud and drunk on Friday nights and would keep me up, so I started browsing MySpace and just drawing people’s faces,” Legault said. “I didn’t even have a scanner at the time. I’d just take pictures of the drawings and post [the end result] on [people’s] MySpace.”

The issue of privacy and authorship in a project of such spontaneous nature doesn’t seem to bother Legault. “I’m interpreting an image I am seeing, I’m not stealing the image—even though I am stealing it to draw it,” she said. “It’s my drawing, I’m assuming that is creative freedom. People paint flowers and they look for photos of flowers on Flickr,” she said.

“Most of my drawings are photo-based. I collect photos from the Internet and I create a collage and then I draw from that. It becomes mine as art, but not the image itself. I’ve never looked up the legalities of it, but most people are flattered—if they have a photo of themselves on the Internet they obviously like that photo,” she said.

Recovering from a wrist injury that forced her to stop drawing with charcoal, Nicole found that Look I Drew You was a fun way to combine her love for photography and portraiture while sparing her from the physical demands of charcoal drawing. The rapid success of the project and the enthusiastic reception from the public and subjects caught her off-guard.

“All of sudden everyone was just like ‘draw me, draw me!’ and I was also still in school, so I used that as a side project,” said Legault.

“Then it just got to a point where I realized that I couldn’t keep drawing people for free. If I am going to be an artist, I should start charging people for it.” So Nicole opened a Paypal account and charged five dollars for a drawing.

“And then people just started paying for them.” she said.

After she graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Legault went back to her parents’ house in the wilderness of New Brunswick and drew away.

“I did more that year than I ever did in art school; all I did was go to the gym and draw,” she said. In February of 2007 she put together an exposition with artist Melody Hovey called the lookidrewyou vs. melodyartattack series, where both drew the same photos and displayed them side by side.

Check out Legault’s drawings at www.lookidrewyou.com. Who knows, maybe she has a drawing of you.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 05, published September 14, 2010.