For our prompt of “Historic” today, my mind first leapt to famous landmarks. Then I thought about all of the tourist photos that appear when people visit those iconic places. Here to demonstrate, we have a quick little doodle of the selfie cats capturing a memorable moment at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. When I visited Pisa myself, I certainly enjoyed seeing the famous tower, but I equally enjoyed watching all of the people around taking the same sort of photos to make it look like they were holding up the tower or pushing it back into the correct position. It’s an odd way to celebrate history, to be sure, but this never stops people from pinching the Statue of Liberty or holding the Eiffel Tower in their fingertips. There are also those lucky folks who have touched the top of the the Great Pyramid of Giza or kissed the Sphinx. While one could call such actions cliché, the truth is these forced perspective photos are quite fun! And it’s really hard to pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get one’s own iconic shot of an icon.
Indeed, taking photos like these is a sure way to call oneself out as a tourist. But, unless you’re on some covert mission that requires absolute secrecy and not actually on holiday at all, then who really cares? And, if you’re standing anywhere near that tower in Pisa and not a member of the clergy or running one of the many pizza restaurants, everyone already knows you’re a tourist anyway. What I love about these photos is that they are completely cliché and while I’m sure there are still people who think they’re the first to come up with the idea, these photos have been taken for many years. Long before digital cameras and digital sharing, people were filling scrapbooks with these very same shots. To me, it’s like being a part of a second history, of humans acting on impulses from their inner child. So yeah, I totally did my part and held that Tower of Pisa up with a stupidly happy grin on my face.
What some people might think is childish, I just find joyful. I don’t know how to take life seriously, and I’m not sure I’d bother if I did. And, it’s not that I don’t appreciate historic landmarks, I quite adore and revere them. But, my reverence for anything I enjoy always comes out as excitement and giddiness. I’m just a kid who is thrilled to be seeing something straight out of the history books. I want to learn all I can about the stories behind whatever I’m looking at and only hope my wallet and suitcase don’t break as I gather books in the gift shops. And yes, if it’s a specific place where I know I can stop and take that silly iconic photo, then I’ll always oblige. I’ll get stares from the adults around me and huffs from folks who think I’m ridiculous and acting like a child, but, I don’t mind. I’m just sharing in the joy of the thousands of people who have traveled here before me, and making history.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Hansa Yellow Medium, 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? Click here!