A good friend of mine – Bob LeDrew – is doing a bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls to raise money for cancer research and support programs. Among other things (writer, communicator, teacher, Stephen King fan), he is a cyclist, and a musician.

And quite creative.

So instead of doing a straightforward request for support, Bob added a twist: he decided to name his campaign “Singing My Way to Niagara Falls.”

For every person who donates $100 or more, Bob will sing a song with the person’s name in it. And he will play it on a ukulele.

As his campaign began, I received the following request:

I would love a drawing of yours as a title slide for my cancer cover tune videos. Feel like doing a drawing of a cyclist riding no hands whilst playing a ukulele in your inimitable style?”

My answer? Oh, HELL yes. I mean, how can you say “no” to someone who uses the word “whilst”?!

Only I don’t really know how to draw a bike. Or a ukulele. Or Toronto or Niagara Falls. Or Bob. You see, I’m a little out of practice. So I began doing research, which was unexpected yet fun.

bobledrewrideAnd using possibly my favorite app of all time – ArtRage – I was able to complete the following drawing:

What I love about ArtRage is that I can compose a piece in layers, so if I want to experiment with different techniques, I can. If I want to try watercolors, or crayons, or colored pencils they’re all right there at my fingertips. And if I add a layer to play on and mess up, I can delete it and try again.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy drawing and painting and simply creating until discovering this app.

I use a stylus – my preferred is Bamboo, but there are plenty out there to choose from.  And all of the drawings on my site were created using ArtRage.

So thanks to Bob for the challenge, which was enormously fun. And to repay the favor, a request? Please consider donating to Bob’s fundraiser. I admire his creativity. And it’s for a great cause.

In Bob’s own words:

The summer I turned 40, I got cancer. Luckily for me, it was bladder cancer, and it was on the superficial end of the spectrum. But like most people, I already knew cancer, just not as something that had happened to me. My dad had five primary cancers, and through a combination of surgery, chemo, and hormone therapy lived with them for decades, before dying peacefully at 88. My friends Kim, Naomi, and Monique weren’t as lucky — they’re all gone, from breast and oral cancers.

Cycling is a part of my life that brings me great joy (even when I’m heaving my way up a climb). If I can raise some money while doing something like this — it’s a win-win, right?   If you can help in any way, I will be very grateful and promise to dedicate a drop of my riding sweat to you!

NEW PERK! If you donate more than $100, I will find a song with your name in it, learn it, and record a cover version with my beloved resonator uke. So far, I’ve got three FIVE! SEVEN?! songs to do! Get your ‘special request’ fulfilled.”

And if you want him to sing a song especially for you, PLEASE consider donating $100 or more.

ESPECIALLY if your name happens to be Xochiquetzal.