For our prompt of “Skin” today, my mind leapt to an elephant, which doesn’t quite qualify as an everyday thing where I currently live, but I would love it if that were the case. I’ve always adored elephants. And they are made up of a festival of skin that creases and folds, only adding to their character. Indeed, the skin I see most often each day is of a more human variety, but I prefer sketching animals. This is no slight to humans, but when I’m illustrating a story, or more accurately a daily ramble, it’s fun to use animals to portray what’s going on in my mind. In truth, thinking about “skin” made me think about the idea of being content with being oneself. Growing up, I realized right away that I wasn’t quite like the majority of the other boys around me. I was indeed in the minority, but I never let that make me feel minor in any way at all. In fact, it just made me feel rather special. Though I always say I’m no rebel, in many ways, I can seem that way. I don’t have a need to be just like everyone else in the crowd. I’ve never been worried that I might be different in some way and therefore wouldn’t “fit in.” Truly, the entire concept of “fitting in” has always been a perfectly weird thing to aspire to in life. Why on earth would I want to be just like somebody else? What’s the point in that? For me, what makes the world so incredibly interesting are the differences and unique traits that we all possess. Therein lies the greatest beauty.
In high school, I joined lots of groups, but soon found that I wanted to lead them instead. I ended up becoming President or Vice-President of every group I joined. One would think this would lead me to a career in politics, but what a horrible bore that would have been. No, I just wanted to stand up and scream, “The best thing about a group is all of the fabulously unique individuals who created it in the first place!” I fought my way to the top to make a change. I saw people adapting to the group rather than fiercely asserting their individuality. I wanted to change that mindset. There’s nothing greater in this world than the strikingly unique contributions we all have to add to it. And in today’s world, there are so many rules set on social media and via various algorithms that tell us exactly how we must behave next. And, I’m not at all shy in admitting that I despise them. So, hey, maybe I am a bit of a rebel after all. My goal and wish is to encourage people to always follow their hearts first and foremost. I want people to create what they felt should be created next, not what some trend or algorithm told them to make.
I should indeed insert a caveat here, and say that following the mighty algorithm is indeed the best path to more follows, likes, and social media success. But, that’s not what this particular blog has ever focused on. Everything posted here is a true and honest account of personal life histories, art journeys, experiences with art supplies, and much more! And that makes me feel incredibly happy. It’s always been the goal I hoped for with regard to this site from the very beginning. Artists connecting with other artists and sharing their own individual views of the world. It’s what makes Doodlewash so very different from others places you find on the Internet, save many of the wonderful featured artists you’ll find on this site. Together, we’re carving out an honest world of experience and possibility. We are each so different and yet art can bring us together in incredible and profound ways. It’s been years since I was that awkward boy coming of age and attempting to understand how I should proceed in this world given my own unique traits. Today, I invite you all to embrace yours. There’s nothing more perfect than the moment you fully grasp the beauty of being comfortable in your own skin.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Nickel Azo Yellow, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. (My “Shiny” Trio! Click Here To Get It!) 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!