Always Stay Curious

Kangaroo Curious Watercolor Illustration

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.

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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!
Kangaroo Curious Watercolor Illustration Sketchbook Detail

 

Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in By Charlie
16 Comments
  1. Sandra Strait 3 months ago

    I love the expression on your kangaroo’s face! I’m the epitome of curious – when it comes to art supplies anyway. I want to try them all and find out what makes them different from all the other art supplies. Not so curious about sports scores or the latest in fashion, lol.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sandra! 😃💕haha! You and me both…. I think sports and fashion are lovely, but art supplies??? So much more fun!!

  2. Karen Fortier 3 months ago

    What a cute and curious kangaroo Charlie! Being curious is what makes art come alive. Your stories and prompts inspire us to keep being curious. I think that it adds to our artist toolkit which I hope adds to my other daily art. By the way, it’s nice to be home and I’m glad that I could share a bit of my vacation. I look forward to when you can do the same! Meanwhile I look forward to each of your daily stories.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Karen! 😃💕 Yay to daily curiosity! It’s truly what makes art so FUN! And thank you for taking me on your vacation with you! I adored that!! Yeah, Philippe and I have still yet to plan one… ugh… hehe… though I still have hope it will happen before the family travel starts!

  3. Lisa 3 months ago

    He’s a great kangaroo. There was a recent news story about snow in Australia and the roos were having a blast!

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Lisa! 😃💕hehe… I can imagine they would adore snow in Australia… I love it as well!

  4. Sharon Nolfi 3 months ago

    I agree. Being content but curious is a great way to live.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Sharon! 😃💕 yeah, think content by curious is probably one of the best kept secrets in life!

  5. Mary Roff 3 months ago

    Being curios keeps us young…or at least thinking we’re young. 🙂

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Hehe!! Thinking young is BEING young in my book! 😃💕 And looking young I think… although some mornings that bit is a bit debatable. 😊

  6. LoriCtoo 3 months ago

    Oh my gosh! He made me giggle. I like that…always stay curious. The nature class I took this summer had a prompt of “wonder”. I never realized how much I wondered about things. It really brought it to the surface and I actually followed through and researched a few things.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks, Lori! 😃💕 Super odd perspective here! lol Wonder is the best trait we can ever possess! It’s so fun! But yeah, some of my sketches get a bit rushed as I rush off to explore so new idea, thought, or other mystery! All fun though! 😉

  7. Laura Kate 3 months ago

    “Stay curious – try stuff” is advice I give my fiber arts students.

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      That’s fantastic advice, Laura! 😃💕 Yeah, I think it’s really the only advice artists need. The rest all sorts itself out in the end.

  8. Sarah 3 months ago

    I love your curious kangaroo, Charlie! 😄 And you’re so right about them looking ever so pleased and content with themselves when lying down in the grass. 😄
    Always stay curious is a wonderful motto! 💕

    • Author
      Charlie O'Shields 3 months ago

      Thanks so much, Sarah! 😃💕 Yeah, I adore kangaroos! I think they have all the secrets to living a content and happy life. And who knows, maybe it is just, always stay curious! 😉

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