For our prompt of “Gator,” I wasn’t sure what to make so I let my mind wander a bit. One of the first things that came to mind was the idea of crocodile tears, which is a way to describe a fake or insincere display of emotion. As it turns out all alligators are crocodiles (or crocodilians to be a touch more accurate) and both are known to cry when eating their prey. It’s romantic to think this is a show of some sort of regret, but it’s really just caused by all of the hissing and huffing they do while chowing down. How I began to wonder what would happen if a newly born alligator and dragonfly immediately became friends, is anyone’s guess. I’m not sure how this story ends, but it all depends on which view you take. If it’s pure science, this one would have a sad ending, I’m afraid. But, if you take a more romantic view, then perhaps this unlikely pair becomes friends for the six short months that a dragonfly lives and those tears are sincere, after all. A bit bittersweet, to be sure, but still a much better ending.
For me, I always choose the romantic notion of things. Perhaps it’s my perpetual optimism or just the fact that I adore stories about love and hope. The idea that experiencing something truly special is always worth the journey, no matter how the story ends. Though, yes, I also adore a perfectly happy ending. These are the kind of stories that end so nicely and neatly that they always feel like a fantasy. But, that’s my favorite part of stories. I don’t need to be reminded of what’s wrong in the world, that’s clear enough. I want to be shown a world that should exist. Not a utopia, as that’s perfectly boring, but one that has all of the elements one finds in a wish. A dream that just maybe we could sort it all out and things will turn out as we’d like them to in the end. It’s the kind of story I always had spinning in my head as a child. The one that’s just a touch impossible, but just feels right.
My head has been spinning lately with the story I might write and illustrate. And, instead of trying to actually choose something and write it, I’m just going to keep practicing a bit this month and see what crazy things comes to mind. In the midst of all of those ideas, I’m certain one will form that excites me enough to create an entire book. It’s fun to dream of ideas, and I do often get a bit lost in the “what if” of it all. Yet, that’s always the best way to approach one’s art. Instead of chases answers, it’s often better to just keep on asking questions. The right question will appear and then what happens next will feel a bit like magic. It’s that moment when something that didn’t even register as a thought previously, becomes the only thing you can think about. I adore this process, and yes, it makes for a rather romantic journey. The kind of journey where everything feels somehow amazing, engaging and beautifully sincere, even crocodile tears.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black 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!