Definitely one of my all-time favorite foods from the school cafeteria when I was a kid was pizza. When I was young, it was served in a little rectangle so it would fit perfectly on the tray. I’ve already sketched that version, so I opted for the kind we got at home from the frozen food truck. Little individual circles of heaven! Sure, nearly devoid of any nutritional value. Usually mom just added sliced fruit of some kind in an attempt to make up for that, but it was totally delicious. As I got a bit older, and was allowed to use the microwave, I was able to “cook,” all by myself! It was liberating and I think made the pizza taste even better somehow. I was a bit chubby for a period of time in my youth, and looking back this meal choice was probably one of the culprits. But I thankfully had a quick growth spurt that stretched me out to thinner more balanced proportions. Had I taken on a bit of sport back then it probably would have helped out a bit, but sports have never interested me. I was far more intrigued by reading books, doodling and making all different kinds of crafts.
During those pizza years, I learned to crochet and sew, though I no longer remember how to do either. But it was the joy of making those crafts as a kid that would later cause me to ultimately choose to get an art degree. This, of course, is one of those degrees that can cause some parents to cringe as they worry their child will never have a “real” job. I never really knew or cared what a “real” job was, but it seemed a bit dull so I just forged ahead and chased after the things I enjoyed most. This, as it turns out, is the best way to be successful. We’re always at our best when our hearts are burning with passion and interest. Throughout my life I’ve had moments when what I was doing felt like it began to lack heart and that’s always the moment I simply changed and tried something else instead. I received a lot of advice along the way, but in the end, I was the only one who could ever really understand what my heart wanted.
Today, as I look back on my younger years, I feel like all the adventures were exactly what was meant to happen. Though I often wish I’d started painting all those years ago, I’m thrilled to be doing it each and every day now. It’s a treat that I simply must have each day. Friends ask me in awe, “You actually paint ever single day?” as though doing something like that is somehow more difficult than all the other things one does daily. It’s just making a bit of time for something you love. Philippe and I are leaving California and traveling home today. As busy as a travel day might be, I still make sure I build in just a tiny bit of time to paint and write. Life is a series of individual choices that we make. Things we require and others that we leave behind. I choose to paint and create each and every day, without exception. Sketching and painting has become so much of a habit that it almost no longer feels like a choice at all. But it is simply that, in the end. Nothing more complex than selecting a favorite topping to add to each day. I’m still that little kid, thrilled to enjoy my very own little treat, like back in those days when I longed for a personal pizza.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Terra Cotta, Quinacridone Red, Benzimida Orange, Cobalt Turquoise, 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!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!