A Little Hermit

Hermit Crab Cute Watercolor Illustration

For our prompt of “Beach” today, my mind wandered to a little hermit crab. Perhaps it’s because this is Friday night and I’m heading into the weekend, thrilled to be spending that time hiding at home. In the case of a hermit crab, of course, this home is purloined from some sort of scavenged mollusk shell. Being an introvert at heart, I tend to get a bit reclusive at times. I sink into my own thoughts and imagination and tend to shy away from large crowds. What I adore most is a bit of truly special and quiet time spent with the people I love. I don’t care for large events with throngs of people, and am quite happy just staying in my own little shell. When I was younger, I actually loved going to parties, but only because I knew I would always find that other person like me with whom I could sit and chat throughout the evening. While everyone else talked to everyone else at once, that evening’s newfound friend and myself would have a much more personal conversation. In truth, I love talking to people, but only if the conversation contains a bit of meaning as I’m perfectly worthless when it comes to “chit chat.” That skill of talking while saying, and indeed revealing, nothing much at all. So, these days, I do just stay home much of the time.

A few years ago, I had a very social friend who asked me to go out somewhere and then qualified the ask with, “or are just going to be a hermit like usual.” The way he said it made it seem like my own proclivities were somehow bad and his were somehow superior. It made me wonder about what’s “normal” and what’s considered a bit odd or eccentric. This friend was extremely social and always attended the latest and greatest parties or charity events du jour. To me, the fact that we were actually still friends more than proved that I’m not truly anti-social by any stretch. Yet, the fact that I turned down nearly every one of the events I was invited to, labeled me a hermit. I would ask him silly questions like, “who is going to be there?” to which he would respond, “everyone! who cares?” That’s when I knew for certain we were wired a bit differently. I don’t have any desire to show up to a crowd of anyones… I just want to see and chat with “my people.” The ones who understand me and have something in common without forcing the issue with idle chatter and strangely forced banter.

The thing about being an introvert, that an extrovert doesn’t always realize is that our energies work in reverse. While my friend soaked up every human body at a party as a source of pure energy, I instead, would be zapped of energy by the end of the night. Unless, of course, I found that someone who would sit off in the corner with me and have a real conversation. When that happened, I would return home exhilarated thinking parties are the most amazing thing in the world and, really, more people should attend them! These days, I’m getting too old to be invited to those sorts of parties and too wise to bother with most of them in the first place. I now go wherever my heart tells me to go next. I don’t worry over what I should or shouldn’t do or anguish about some social grace I’m defying anymore. I just DO what feels most like me. Yet, my heart does have an odd little secret wish. If I could just spend a few minutes one-on-one with each of you who read and enjoy my illustrations and stories, it would make me the happiest guy on the planet! I already know, you’re definitely my kind of people. The ones I would find at those parties, making the evening absolutely perfect. It’s not likely possible, of course, as nearly all you live in different places and well, continents, but it would be a dream come true! A chance to come face to face with my own inspiration would be the best thing of all, even for a little hermit.

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About the Doodlewash

Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Hermit Crab Cute Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Illustration
Recommended7 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
27 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 1 month ago

    Sometimes I think introverts and extroverts must come from different planets. It’s one of the reasons I love reading what new discoveries have been made about the human brain. It’s marvelous that we’re able to function the way we do, but more and more it looks like we don’t function that way we think we do!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      So true! It seems they’re finding new things out each and every day when it comes to the science of the brain. I’ve not been able to keep up with it all. hehe 😉 So, I just go with gut feelings most of the time. That response that one day scientists might finally figure out!

  2. Karen Fortier 1 month ago

    I love your hermit crab. Being an introvert I understand your dislike of crowds. The older I get the less patience I have for situations I don’t like. I do pretty good in situations that I am comfortable in. Art is a great connector. It’s funny, since I have embraced my art journey I am willing to engage in activities that I would not before. I think it is because I have a good percentage of ME time to really DO what makes me happy. I can now pick the people contact activities that I want to engage in. Getting older has some perks.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕So true!! Getting older has some definite perks! We get to choose our people and that’s the most rewarding thing of all. And, I agree, if I’ve had my time to spending sketching and writing, I’m much more ready to take on group activities. But yeah, I still kind of want to pick the group. 😉 hehe

  3. Linda M. Gigliotti 1 month ago

    Charlie your writing is so real that it is as if you are right here in the room with me. I don’t do parties either and when I have to shop I want to run every time I see more than three other shoppers. I am a people person but one at a time and I do not need crowds. Don’t change anything, you are already perfect.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Aww thanks so much, Linda! 😃💕 I’m so happy this post spoke to you! I agree… when people say they are a “people person” it usually means anyone with a pulse! lol So, yeah, that’s not me at all. But if it’s someone who shares my interests, then I’m SUCH a people person! It’s the best thing ever!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 1 month ago

    Adorable and colorful little crab! Aw, I think you’re my kind of person, too. My preference is like yours: to sit down and talk with someone I really connect with. It would be cool to meet you, and it definitely could happen.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Sharon! 😃💕Would be cool to meet you as well! Yeah, I’m truly not a hermit and love talking to people, but never just “chit chat”… it robs me of my energy and walk away feeling like something was missing.

  5. Lisa 1 month ago

    I have a friend (online) who is one of only a few people on the planet who raised hermit crabs in captivity. Most hc are captured wild and there is terrible abuses that happen because of that. A creature who has a pretty long lifespan of 30 years, is reduced to a year in captivity.

    I’m an introvert too. I hated large college parties where everyone got stupid. I shine at small dinner parties where I’m opinionated, in a good way, funny, and smart. I can’t wait until you take your doodlewash your and visit me. I’ll be making dinner.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Oh wow, I didn’t know that about hermit crabs. I wondered how well they faired in an artificial setting. And yay! I can’t wait until I can come over for dinner!! Yum! 😃💕

  6. Zertab Quaderi 1 month ago

    It’s funny how I’m exactly like you and other introverts! I can’t function in large crowds or indulge in chitchat either! Would love to meet you and other doodlewash friends someday! Maybe next when I visit the US!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yay to that, Zertab! 😃💕 It’s lovely that we can connect online at least! But, yeah, it would be cool one day to have that chat in person!

  7. Mary Roff 1 month ago

    Lovely little hermit crab! I was having the introvert/extrovert conversation with an artist just the other day. It would be interesting to know what the connection is between creativity and being an introvert or extrovert. Seems like most artists I know tend to be introverts.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Mary! 😃💕Yeah, the real definition of the terms is all about energy and where you get it. Introverts get their energy from within and not from others (in some cases they lose energy interacting with tons of others at once, like me). So, it’s not surprising so many artists share this trait. That muse inside is rather good company.

  8. LoriCtoo 1 month ago

    Love this little guy! Yep we are twins. I too rather be at home or in a small group of sketchers.( Usually not much talking goes on when everyone is sketching.) We are content with our home lives. I know we would have a fun time together, just by our previous mini conversations. Lol! If you decided to hold a Doodlewash convention, you would have to do it in some sort of mini conventions because EVERYONE would want to spend time with you. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕hehe… or should I said, sister Lori! You’re too sweet… a convention where everyone would actually want to spend time with me would be a crazy thing indeed. Normally at parties, I’m the odd guy refusing to engaged in the usual expected “chit chat”! lol I would be curious to have a Doodlewash convention one day. It would feel a bit more like the best version of a family reunion.

  9. Linda Murray 1 month ago

    I wish I could sit down and visit with you too, Charlie. You are my kind of person, I get what you are saying! 😉 I also am an introvert. I, too, would rather seek out that one individual and visit with them.
    Awesome little hermit crab! Love how you painted the sand and those shadows under the crab. You just keep getting better and better 👍😁
    .

  10. Winna Jill Mordasky 1 month ago

    we’d get along very nicely and laugh a lot…love your work–this hermit crab is so special.. your choices and colors…feel good….

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Winna! 😃💕 And I’ve no doubt about that! I’m sure we would get on famously and have a grand time together!

  11. Linda M. Gigliotti 1 month ago

    A thought here after reading comments. It is possible actually to be both introvert (I get stuff done and keep myself laughing often ) AND extrovert (you should see and unfortunately hear me around my friends and acquaintances) — as I say, one on one. Usually.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      hehe… Yeah, it’s actually always possible and usual to be bits of both. When I took one of those tests at work, I typed out to being just barely an extrovert! 😉 lol I adored those results because it meant, given the right group and circumstances, being with others gives me lots of beautiful energy! Which, by the way, is why I started my own community on Doodlewash. hehe 😉

  12. Jacob 1 month ago

    Cool crab! I’ve probably said it countless times before, but I’m the same with parties and crowds – I just can’t be doing with all that noise, and having to raise my voice just to talk to someone. And then there’s the obligatory hullabaloo over why I don’t want alcohol or ice cream. Ugh! If YOU were at the party, though, that would be different. It’d be us against them! 😉 I feel like we’d be in the corner laughing to ourselves and people would look daggers at us, thinking we were laughing at them. 😛

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Yes, it would be us against them my friend!! 😃💕 But you do know that I would be having the ice cream and likely have a glass of wine in my hand at the same time, right? lol Well, okay, probably not at the same time, as that’s uncultured, but I do enjoy both! That said, I’m certain we would still have the grandest time in our little corner. It would all start my me insisting you try my ice cream. (don’t worry, I would never share my wine).

  13. smzang 1 month ago

    I took the afternoon off, and this visit to Doodlewash makes me so glad I did. When you make your cyber visit, you will find your art on my walls and a large assortment of exotic desserts (really, aren’t all desserts exotic?) BTW crowds, noise, and ta ta kisses in the air are among my most detested experiences.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      And this is why we are so connected, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I can’t bare false interactions… it takes energy I want to reserve for the beautiful and real kind!

  14. SnehLata Maheshwari 1 month ago

    Hi Charlie u r good to be busy with the work.i think if rethem tuches heart,only u can close to each other.liked u r story . And
    The 🐚+ colour full Eeeeee3eedd.
    Nice .

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 1 month ago

      Thanks so much, Snehlata! 😃💕So thrilled you liked this! Yes, it’s always good to be busy with things!

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