When thinking of our prompt of “Picnic” today, I first thought of a lovely picnic basket, but when I thought about the food inside, memories of childhood came flooding back to me. There were many types of food that I remember from family picnics when I was older, but I went a bit farther back in time. So, we ended up with a peanut and jelly sandwich, an apple, and a juice box. This was my fave meal as a little kid, and for some bizarre reason, the juice box was my favorite part. There’s just something cool about drinking out of a box rather than a glass. It always felt more unique and special. Certainly, these were only things I received on road trips or family outings and never at home, so perhaps that added to the allure. The little juice box was much more elevated as it became synonymous with fun! Or, yeah, maybe I’m just easily amused. It truly takes very little to make me smile as my imagination can take even the simplest of things and turn them into something extraordinary. I’ve found it just makes life more fun to live and each day more interesting that the next.
Yesterday, we went to see Toy Story 4, which for a fourth installment of a trilogy, turned out to be very enjoyable. The premise of the entire franchise lies in the wondrous idea that toys come to life the moment we leave the room. And, better still, they are doing everything they can to look after us and make us happy. The little kid inside me still wants to believe this is true, though the adult screams it’s perfectly impossible. My inner child just giggles at the adult and says, “proof it!” This makes the adult confused and concerned as he realizes it’s not possible to either proof or disproof. The toys never move when anyone is present, so we’ll never really know for sure. That’s a magical thought indeed, but that’s the way my mind works. It’s not about truly believing in magic, it’s about reminding myself to always imagine the possibilities in life, no matter how impossible something might seem. It’s often far too easy to discount something and move on. Yet, with just a touch of magical thinking, new possibilities begin to appear. That’s nothing truly profound, and it’s really just the definition of creativity itself.
The other day, I was told by someone, “I’m not creative like you,” to which I immediately thought, “Why not?” Why on earth would someone think they aren’t creative? I firmly believe that we were all born creative, so if someone no longer feels that way, what changed along the way? Perhaps, like sketching and drawing, creativity is something that just takes daily practice. What was an everyday event as a child can become a rare treat as an adult. So, that’s why my goal has been to try to get as many people as a can to sketch stuff with me. And why it’s been such a joy to watch people just starting out experience the thrill of creating something new. So much of life is filled with things we don’t understand yet, but when it comes to creating things, we already know more than we think. And there’s a real power in that natural creative ability that we all possess. Sure, it may not make us actually believe that toys can spring to life when we leave the room, but it can make us see the world in a much more hopeful and productive way. It’s why, today, you’ll suddenly find me taking a moment to marvel at the magical qualities of a juice box on a childhood picnic.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Vermilion, and Indigo (my “Vintage” Trio!), + 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!