For our prompt of “Grass” today, I ended up on a patch of grass with a curious kangaroo staring back at me. Well, not in reality, but that’s what appeared on my sketchbook page, at least. Actually, at our local zoo there’s a kangaroo enclosure that’s fun to visit. As you’re walking through, there are occasionally kangaroos on the path in front of you. This is when you realize you’re actually on a visit inside their home and not the other way around. Much of the time, however, the kangaroos are just relaxing in the grass. I love how kangaroos look when they’re laying in the grass. They seem beyond content, like they’ve already discovered all of the true joys of life so they can now simply lay there, happily basking in the secret. Yet, seeing one in your path, you quickly realize they are always ready to learn more. I like the idea of being content, yet still curious. I think that’s pretty much how I always approach things in life. I’m always excited to learn and try new things, but simply to learn and try them. I don’t worry over how things will turn out, as I’ll surely find out soon enough and all of the fun is in the DOing. I’m just content being curious.
My very first blog was a photo blog, which was called “Always Curious” and featured just a single photo with a title each day and nothing more. Nothing like the long-form illustrated stories I share today, but still a bit of story there. You can find that entire blog on this one, by the way, transformed into “Freshly Curious,” and offered up as free reference photos for artists and writers. And if you view the photos in the gallery pop-up, in most cases, the original title is still there below the image. What I find rather fun about looking through these photos is that while some titles are rather obvious, others are a bit humorous or reveal what inspired me to take the photo in the first place. That bit of curiosity that was sparked in that moment and indeed a glimpse into a story only just started and never fully told. This idea applies to that original blog as well, because it only lasted for around three years. So, I’m super excited to be at the beginning of my fifth year of doodlewash, now illustrating and writing stories each day, still in my own unique style.
In truth, it wasn’t that my passion for photography disappeared, it was more that it wasn’t fully there in the first place. It was something I truly loved, but not the thing I really wanted to DO! I really wanted to write stories, but I was afraid nobody would care to listen to me ramble on about things. I wanted to illustrate my stories by hand, but I didn’t think I could draw or color well enough to ever really be able to do that. It’s funny how easy it can be to lose faith in ourselves. But, today, I’m DOing what I really love and finally following my true passion. And mostly, I’ve learned that passion is a wonderful place to start, but it can’t last forever unless we mix it with a healthy dose of genuine interest in what we are doing and the world around us. As much as I always tell people to follow their hearts, it’s equally wonderful to keep an open mind. To continue to explore the world of possibilities that await and pretend that each day is like that first time all over again. To always question things we think we know and look for better answers. I’m often asked how one can show up with an illustration and story each and every day, and the best advice I could ever possibly gives comes in just three words. Always stay curious.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, 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!
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