This blog is dedicated to Dewey Ajioka, 89, who was one of the first people we met in L.A. and he’s become a good friend since. Dewey, a retired English professor, is something of a fixture on the promenade. You can often find him under the shade of a tree sketching people as they walk by, or sit, or laugh, or think. Above is a self-portrait of Dewey sketching on the promenade.
Dewey isn’t interested so much in realism, as he is in capturing people’s gestures and stories. He’s known and beloved by the large homeless population here, who refer to him as "the dude who sketches." Above is a sketch of Dewey’s friend "Doc", a promenade regular who says he used to be an orthopedic surgeon.
Here’s Dewey’s sketch of Bill "The Sandcastle Man", a homeless vet who’s been building intricate sandcastles on the Santa Monica beach for the past 22 years. Dewey has stacks of sketchbooks filled with hundreds of more drawings like these. Each sketch is accompanied by a little blurb highlighting what’s unique or beautiful about the person he’s drawn. Ask Dewey about his sketches and he’ll say with a smile that reveals his three gold teeth, "I guess I’m just people oriented."