For our prompt of “Bark” today, I thought of both a dog and trees at the same time so I ended up with a little sketch of my puppy Elliott holding a tree branch. He’s growing up quickly, though it’s still anyone’s guess as to how big he’ll get. One thing is certain, he totally adores sticks. After a storm recently, he suddenly came trotting up behind me proudly while carrying a huge tree branch in his mouth that was almost too large for him. He wasn’t remotely bothered by the extra effort, he was just super pleased that he found what was apparently the best stick of the day. I had to give him credit. If something is rather difficult to deal with, I’ll sometimes choose the simpler option instead. Or, I’ll turn to my olympic-level procrastination skills and just put that daunting task off for another day. For instance, that pile of laundry can’t possibly grow that much more in just 24 hours, can it? Yet, unless you’re the type who adores doing laundry, it’s probably not the best example. Instead, it might be that creative project that always seems like it’s too big to tackle, which most likely means it’s the coolest one.
When I get an idea for a new creative project, I can go a bit wild with all of the thoughts that come to mind. There’s so much that I could do to make it that much more amazing, but doing so requires both time and energy that I don’t always feel that I have. Instead, I end up daydreaming about it for weeks, letting my mind wander through every little possible scenario. Nothing actually gets done, of course, but the outcome seems far more tangible in my mind. While I do manage to write and illustrate new books, there are still books on the horizon that I’ve only dreamed up. They’re close enough to reach out and grab in my mind, but I never quite do so. Watching little Elliott grab that giant branch without hesitation, with all of that pride on his little furry face at having accomplished something so grand, made me want to do more. I wanted to push aside my own doubts and go ahead and go for those things that I’ve been avoiding because, well, they just seem a bit too far outside my ability. Just maybe, they’re not.
Even with all my ambition, I don’t have all of the time in the world. And if I had to choose between a creative project and spending extra quality time with Philippe and Elliott, I’ll always choose the latter. As much as I’d love to DO all of the creative things I dream up in this lifetime, those projects aren’t the real prize. The best thing about my day is the time I spend enjoying snacks with my husband and chasing after an overly eager puppy. Though, indeed, the latter in this case is often overwhelming and exhausting. But, the reward is priceless. To me, life is all about striking a balance between going after that thing I’d love to do next, and making time for those I love the most. When I do take that chance and chase after that big creative idea, I just want it to be one that’s worth the effort. In the end, it’s really just a matter of finding the best stick.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Vermilion, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note and I’ll add it to my shop!