Today we have some sort of shiny little weird bug, sitting on a leaf. I’m not really a fan of bugs as most of them can be downright creepy. This particular bug is a bit more intriguing, but the more exotic the bug looks in real life, the more they freak me out. Most bugs are brown or gray and unassuming, so when they get flashy like this one, I get suspicious. It’s like a little alien bug who has come to take over the planet, one centimeter at a time. It’s unnerving. I imagine this bug is likely sending a signal to his alien leaders to let them know that it’s a good time to invade. Though assuming that aliens would want anything to do with our planet is always a rather pompous assumption in itself. We don’t really take very good care of it, so at best they would have to view it as a fixer-upper. Something they could occupy, renovate, and flip like an old bungalow. Though admittedly, finding a weird bug as a kid was truly a wonderful experience. It was much less about the bug and just the excitement that comes from discovering something I’d never seen before.
Finding something brand new when you’re a kid is a breeze since nearly everything seems new. As I get older, I find myself looking at things sometimes with what I might call “old eyes,” which means I immediately associate it with a thing I’ve seen before. This is something that often gets in the way and makes it difficult to sketch. Instead of looking at what is actually there, I associate it with an object I’ve seen before and the result isn’t always what I intended. When I go to sketch something, I consciously try to look at it with “young eyes” and, no matter what the subject matter, pretend that I’ve never seen anything like it before. This works sometimes better than others, but it’s something I always try to think about before drawing. And, well, doing just about anything in life. I think it makes things more fun when you try to look at life with the eyes of a child.
It’s not that I want to be Peter Pan or anything, it’s just that after my 40th birthday I decided that I would prefer to stop aging entirely. The so-called knowledge that we have as we get older is far less fun than the thrill of discovery that comes from embracing things as they come. Everything that happens in life is really something new, but so many times we think, “yeah, I’ve seen that before.” Even though we haven’t. But, for me, it’s far more fun to look at things as though they are excitingly new and different. Because they actually are! Much like looking into the sky and seeing various shapes in the clouds. If you squint just right, that’s definitely a squirrel floating next to a hot air balloon. So, no matter what I see, you’ll find me stopping for a moment to consider it a bit differently. Even the most mundane things in life can get rather exciting when you look at them as though they’re nothing more than a weird bug.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. 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!