When I was a little kid, one of the coolest ways to listen to music was at a diner that had what looked like miniature jukeboxes on every table. Shown here in its doodlewashed form is a Seeburg Wall O Matic (minus a couple buttons here and there in this speedy sketch), which is just a super cool name. These were magically connected to some larger unit lurking in a backroom somewhere, and allowed you to select songs while chowing down on a hamburger and fries. Really, it was the best thing in the world. These were disappearing when I was a kid, though you could still catch a 70’s hit on one, like Jim Croce’s Time In A Bottle. I preferred to bounce around on the booth to something more upbeat like the much older Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley. Truly, it was less about the artists for me back then, and instead about the entire magical experience of being able to insert a coin, browse, and choose your own songs. It would be years before the iPod showed up to replicate the experience. But it was never quite the same.
Things have sure gotten more advanced in life and that has made many things easier in so many ways. But in other ways, we’ve lost a little something in our effort to streamline every activity into a single device. Each experience sort of blurs into the next, and lacks its own identity. Perhaps, that’s why record stores are popping up again, offering that wonderfully physical way to shop for music and the amazingly unique sound that digital just doesn’t offer. I love going to a record store and looking at those fun album covers. Music, carefully packaged to grab attention, and sometimes scream for it, as you pass by. So much thought and creativity went into creating a full experience that was more than just the content. The same is already happening again to websites. Many of you are simply reading the content of this post, perhaps have never visited doodlewash.com recently to experience the full site. You totally should by the way! Doodlewash is much, much more than a blog. It’s a thriving and interactive watercolor community with lots of cool features and cool people to meet!
As most of you who read my posts know, my mission and goal is to bring the world of watercolor lovers together. But, I’m equally wanting to create more than just ways to look at paintings. I sincerely hope to make a space that people visit and want to hang out in. Like those cool diners of the 50’s where meeting people and actually interacting for a bit of time was the main goal. In our fast-paced world, we’re so busy looking for new content, that we often forget to make new human connections. To me, this is one of the most important things an artist can do. We are more than content. We are people. Alive and full of imagination. Our worlds grow richer by the experiences and people that surround us. We make things that make this confusing world more clear. We’re a song that’s just waiting to be played by someone who decides, in that moment, they’re finally ready to pause, and start listening to music.
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About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Red, Cobalt Turquoise, and Payne’s Gray. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book.
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!