Today, for Day 3 of World Watercolor Month and our prompt of “Picnic Food,” I opted for some watermelon slices quickly picked up at the local grocery store. I didn’t have much time to paint today, so I was in a bit of a rush. When I was a little kid, a whole watermelon would appear for such festivities, but today, I see more and more convenience items like this available at the store. It makes me giggle a bit to think how cutting things somehow became an arduous extra step. From pre-cut cookie dough to apple slices, it would appear that we’re heading toward a point where knifes themselves will become something of folklore. But, in reality, we’re just quite busy these days and there are so many different things demanding our attention. Indeed, a ton of things online to see via social media. Except for today, where both Facebook and Instagram went down for most of the day and we were left with mysterious text instead of images. It was quite strange to see only what a robot thinks of our images, and yet quite illuminating as well. Particularly for my own images which are most often just a single thing in the form of an illustration. It was rather fun to read the descriptions the robot had to offer up!
Yet, I was little bit saddened because we don’t post our art for robots. We post it in hopes actual people will show up and see what we created that day. As much as I love that social media helps us to do just that and connects us with one another, I don’t have a great degree of confidence that the robots are actually showing us what we’d actually like to see most. I know this because I’m an early adopter and lived through the earliest stages of these social media platforms. It wasn’t that many years ago really, yet I still find myself nostalgic for a time when we could actually connect in real-time. Though I’m quite happy to see artwork from my friends, I feel like I’m somehow behind when it finally manages to appear in my feed a few days late. While I often jump back to my childhood for memories, I now find myself jumping back just a year or two to reminisce about the good old days of social media. Those democratic days when the sheer voice of the people could give us rock stars like Grumpy Cat (may she rest in peace). What I loved is that this new Internet thing resembled my beloved network television. We’d all rally around something and talk about it the next day.
These days, things have changed quite a lot. We aren’t assembling in the same space anymore because the space itself changes when we ourselves arrive to it. The robots are getting smarter, but in the process, we’re not all living in the same exact world anymore. It’s a bit different for each of us, and that’s both compelling and confusing at the same time. I guess I miss the days when we all felt like we were showing up to the same gathering. Where what I saw might actually be something that you saw as well. I get it, there’s tons of content being created each day, so this is most likely the only possible result. But, that never stops me from feeling just a bit nostalgic for those good old days once again. And, the wonderful news in all of this is that even despite the robots, there are still people seeing what we create and make each day. And even if those people become fewer, we’re stronger for having shared what we made that day! And even making one person smile is always worth the effort! So, post away and be proud of what you created. There will always be people excited to see what you made and enjoy the sheer thrill of showing up to the picnic!
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Leaf Green, Cobalt Blue and Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Photo Reference: Fitri Agung. 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!
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!