I can’t draw for sh*t, but I can trace anything to death.
Which just goes to show you that art doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with talent, “an eye for art,” the ability to see the world in a unique way, or even eye-hand coordination. Impressionistic art, surreal art, traditional, retro, whatever-art — nothing stands a chance when you give me an opaque piece of trace paper and let me loose like a chick in the shoe department of Nordstrom’s.
And that’s simply because, in a nutshell — I kick ass as a Master Tracer.
People often ask me, “Pauly D — when did you become a Master Tracer and what were the origins of you being what some people refer to as a Tracemaster?” It is a question that I am happy to answer simply because, well, I like to give back to the art-deficient individuals of the world.
I think it was 1978, when I was about 7 years old when I was first introduced to trace paper. Someone said something like, “I bet you can’t draw Batman!” and then the floodgates of challenge swept across me as I was handed a flimsy off-white piece of paper that I could sort of, kind of see through. When placed right on top of the latest Batman comic, I was able to see and trace the exact image I saw before my eyes.
[Insert montage here: me, as a child, tracing with my tongue hanging out my mouth. Tracing on the bus. Tracing late at night at which point some adult figure says, “you’ve been doing that for hours Pauly D, it’s time to go to bed.” Tracing at baptisms. Birthday parties. High school graduation. In line at the DMV. At work. At weddings. While watching coverage of 9/11.]
Today, I am what Nipsey Russell once called “The Master Tracer” — a super-smart, super steady, eye-hand coordinated cyborg of artistic reproduction. A wannabe creative-type who woke up one day to realize that, if you really put your mind to it (and you have a piece of trace paper) you can fool anyone into thinking that you are the best, most talented, artistic mind of the naughts.
I have traced Norman Rockwell paintings. I have traced web graphics by putting trace paper on the screen. I have traced pamphlets, brochures, bottles from the pharmacy and even people’s faces while they were sleeping. I have traced other people’s trace-paper images and even traced images while driving under the influence. I can trace while I’m sleeping, while I’m watching TV, while I’m eating corn on the cob, and even while I’m having a coughing attack. See, not only can I trace just like the Amatracers (the amateurs who think they’re good at it) — but I can trace like the Master that I am.
Did I mention that I am the Master Tracer?
Walk into a party and announce that you’re with Pauly D, the Master Tracer, and watch people curiously walk up to us. This is because no one in their right mind would ever put in all the time and effort to become a Master Tracer like I have. It’s unthinkable. But when people meet a Master Tracer like me, they stand eyes-wide in wonder, that they’re in the presence of such tracing-greatness. When standing next to other party-entertainers like the causal piano player, the casual joke teller, the casual drink-inventor and the casual party partier — the Master Tracer always wins.
Cause what I do, is masterful.
Laugh if you want. Make fun of my art. But someday, when the world has been destroyed by global warming and the aliens show up to see just what this society was all about, and they visit Los Angeles and find a safe filled with amazing pieces of art on off-white opaque paper, with the name Pauly D scrawled at the bottom…
They will kneel in reverence.
As they have discovered none other than the MT me.