A Pencil

Relationship: Im/migrant
Drawing: Pond in Tampa Bay
Drawing: Pond in Tampa Bay

 Wood Graphite Pencil

I made my first drawing as a 5-year kid. A magical moment when I knew a way to expand my curious mind. So aromatic, with a wood handle and a gum eraser, a pencil I discovered, could be sharpened to get its fine tip back. Since then, I’ve made 2,000+ sketches and drawings.  At university I drafted plans in pencil, too. A few decades later, computers started to replace hand drafting and I assimilated the new technology as well. But I just kept using my old-fashioned tool and the technique I loved: hand drawings made by pencil. So, as part of my baggage, I brought many boxes of pencils when, in 2018, I arrived in the USA, from the Dominican Republic.  Along with the Ford Model-T car, the steam engine, electricity, and the typewriter, the pencil came to represent one of the modernist symbols and pillars of the earlier industrial revolution. Schools, universities, many professions, engineering, and manufacturing were all improved by its use. As a journey, it became the bridge to directly shipping creative ideas from the mind and heart through the arm and hand, delivering them to a paper. For a few centuries the tool belonged to the human feeling field.  Although depersonalized technology grows, disconnecting feelings from the spark of original creation, I keep my pencil tucked behind my ear, remembering that magical moment, as a child sitting on my mother’s home floor, where I discovered the sky. 

Place(s): Dominican Republic, New York City
Year: 2019

– Branno Martinez

Relationship:  Im/migrant Im/migrant