For our prompt of “Baby” today, I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that I chose the animal variety. The first thing that came to mind was an elephant, so I made a quick little two color sketch of a baby elephant and its mother. Philippe has been creating a virtual zoo on his computer lately and yesterday when I came upstairs there were elephants on the screen. They’re one of my favorite animals so I knew I had to sketch one soon. Of course, I watched a few videos of baby elephants playing to really get in the mood. It’s sometimes said that kids follow in their parents footsteps as they grow up. But as far as I could tell watching baby elephants, it was rather the other way around. As it turns out, when you have a toddler, the parent often finds themselves following in the kid’s footsteps. Mostly just following behind with a watchful eye or rushing madly to stop the kid from doing something dangerous. And watching a little baby elephant run around is always a wonderful way to spend some time during the day.
I often find myself chasing around my own inner child at times. As most of you know, I let the kid call the shots most all of the time, because I don’t trust my adult brain to make super fun decisions. Today, this sort of showed up in my sketch as my baby elephant begin charging boldly forward. When I was a kid, my mother always encouraged me to chase after my dreams. She didn’t even question the really crazy ones. I guess she knew what I would later learn. Some things work out and others don’t work out quite like I imagined. In some cases, I failed miserably at something I was attempting to accomplish. But, even when my mother knew I might fail, she didn’t say a word. These were lessons that I had to learn on my own. And what I learned is that each failure brings fabulous new knowledge that helps me succeed doing the next crazy thing I dream up. To this day, I just keep charging forward, letting each dream lead me on to the next step in life.
As a child, I think I was a bit bolder than I am as an adult. Sometimes, that list of failures can weigh on me like a heavy brick. I have to remind myself that just because I couldn’t do something once, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Some things just take a bit more time and practice. That’s been my journey with art. Today I was able to quickly craft my own composition while glancing at several references. This is not something I thought I could ever do. But now, each time I just go for it and give it a try it gets easier. And though there is a lot to be said for age and wisdom, I still think my inner child has plenty to teach me. I think there’s little point in becoming older, unless one can become bolder in the process. For me, at least, this involves reminding myself of that fearless kid I was way back when. In this way, I can confidently sit down in front of that white piece of paper, with only a few minutes to spare and happily make something appear. I’m not sure I could do it if I only listened to my adult mind. Instead, I like to live each day following in my own little footsteps.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Terra Cotta and Ultramarine (Green Shade). Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) 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!
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