I'll tell you a funny story, not funny "ha ha," more funny "odd." It's been years since I really did any portraits. I think the last one I really did before this was one of Alan Cummings for a Design I project in college. We had to do a 28X35 ink reproduction of a portrait using a mark of our choosing, mine was a partial "C." Because of poor planning by the professor, we did not get class time for the project, and we had other projects to do outside of class. So, one Thursday before finals, I had two projects to get done, so I cranked out the one for the other class and spent 16 straight hours working on the Alan Cumming piece using microns. By the time it was done, I couldn't see straight, I hadn't eaten, my hand wouldn't come out of a "claw" shape. I went to meet up with my friends, and nearly fell asleep, but didn't, so I felt sick. We walked to class through the tunnel under the highway. My hand was completely numb and cold. When we got to class, there was an indention in my hand from where the handle of my portfolio was. I got a super good grade in the class, but I guess all that last minute work was a put-off. I really shy away from reference. Whatever I need I try to take from the world in mental snap shots. I don't like to give myself too much time or else it stifles creativity. Back in high school I was pretty bull-headed. I would always try and add my own spin to portraits, when all people wanted was a basic portrait. My mind would think that it was just too boring for me to spend time on a simple portrait, why not add a cool background. I guess I've always been like that. With limited time has come the attempt at trying to fit in as much as possible. But as I've been growing up, I've learned that things have their limits. I'm really scaling things back lately with my work, and it's helping a lot. If you can find a point that ties all of this information together, major "Rad" points go to you!