I Am The Master Tracer

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.

11 comments on “I Am The Master Tracer

  1. Jerry - April 27, 2007 at 6:54 am -

    If I may, Paul:
    1) Now do you mainly focus on tracing in the traditional sense or do you also masterfully employ what is called the Trace Transfer technique? ( This is used primarily when you are out of the opaque tracing paper. You apply a liberal amount of charcoal, pencil lead or even chalk to the back of your original image, place it image side up on a blank sheet of paper, and then proceed to trace all the details of that image thereby transferring your traced image onto the blank page).
    2) What would you say to young artists looking to get into the Trace industry? Do you feel they should get an apprenticeship with a master such as yourself or could they just go out there and start tracing?
    3) Any thoughts on those book like contraptions that mirror images onto a separate page that one would then trace as if they were free-hand artists? Wasted investment or good training tool for the weaker tracers out there?
    4) If you were to sell your traced productions, what kind of profit are you looking at after settling any copyright infringement claims?
    and Finally
    5) Nipsy Russell?

  2. Wordmaven - April 27, 2007 at 7:09 am -

    I am SHOCKED! Shocked that you told us your age! That you are in your 30’s (I would’ve guessed much younger)! That you met, spoke to and was labeled by Nipsy Russell!!!! I need to know, however, what Soupy Sales thinks of your tracing talent?

  3. Pauly D - April 27, 2007 at 7:17 am -

    Jerry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nipsey_Russell

    Wordmaven – Being in your very early 30’s is the new very early 20’s, FYI.

  4. monkeyinabox - April 27, 2007 at 7:54 am -

    “mid-30’s” is more like it. Still, I bow to you Master Tracer.

  5. Wordmaven - April 27, 2007 at 9:12 am -

    Not that old is the new sort of young.

  6. webmiztris - April 27, 2007 at 10:16 am -

    “even people’s faces while they were sleeping”

    lmao! I need to try that. I’m terrible when it comes to drawing, but your method sounds convincing!!

  7. kiki - April 27, 2007 at 4:00 pm -

    Interesting. See, here I thought you were the master baiter.

    Did I get that wrong?

  8. Dave2 - April 27, 2007 at 4:52 pm -

    I wish to see these master tracings! Where is the link to your online gallery?

  9. Amy - April 27, 2007 at 7:01 pm -

    You should have a WFME contest where the winner receives one of your traced drawings.

  10. Hilly - April 27, 2007 at 10:04 pm -

    I need to bring up some things for you to trace for me! Do you think it’s copyright infringement if I bring you a toon that Dave2 drew for me? Hrm, probably ;).

    And there is no shame in your age…pshaw, you and I seem to have been born in the same year.

  11. Pauly D - April 28, 2007 at 5:43 am -

    Dave2 – These aren’t the tracings you’re looking for (waves arm, hypnotically).

    Amy – Just for that idea, I am going to trace your comment and send you the scan!

    Hilly – I’m game. I’m the best. Let me know.

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