For our Doodlewash prompt of “Rock,” paired with the Inktober prompt of “Sling,” we have a much younger Charlie with a slingshot. Thinking back, I’m not sure I remember actually owning a proper slingshot when I was a kid, but I do remember trying out a friend’s once. The target was a series of aluminum cans stacked on a small wooden table. What I remember most was that I was pretty terrible at it. I think I managed to hit the cans, but this was by mere chance and luck more than anything that could be attributed to real skill. In truth, I was usually shabby at many of the activities that were often enjoyed by other boys. Instead, I far preferred doing other things like making crafts with my mom. The idea of a creating something new has always seemed way cooler to me than toppling cans with a rock. I never really understood the intrigue there. I wanted to play with felt and glue and make crazy things from my imagination. Things that didn’t exist just a moment before I started making them. Making has always intrigued me and it’s why I still show up and make a little sketch each and every day.
I had no reference at all for today’s doodlewash, so I just sort of tried to make things up from scratch. This, combined with a human element, pushed me entirely outside of my comfort zone. A zone which I’ve been happily teasing and toying with all month long this month. As it turns out, without a reference, I couldn’t be “wrong” so it was actually a bit easier to make a quick little sketch.
I’ve no idea if this is what I looked like back then attempting to use a slingshot, but it was likely very similar. This was the moment just before I learned that I wasn’t very good at actually doing it. And what I remember about the moment after was that I didn’t really seem to mind that I sucked at it. I didn’t really enjoy it very much. There’s little point in trying to excel at something that doesn’t bring you joy, so there’s equally no point in feeling bad about not doing it correctly. I just went home and did something crafty instead.
These days, nothing much has changed. I focus on the things I have a knack for and those happen to always coincide with the things I truly love. It’s really tough to be good at something when your heart isn’t in it. Though true, I often wish I were better at the things I do, but that just takes a bit of practice. I don’t have very much time to practice my art, but I try a little something each and every day. Over time, it means I’ve learned a lot as I continue to try anything and everything this month, I’ve had a few hits and a few misses. But, that’s the beauty of making things. It’s the act of DOing it that provides the best reward. And, I’m happy to reconnect with my childhood self each day. Though they say that wisdom comes with age, I think Little Charlie had a rather great approach to life. It’s an approach that’s helped me through many adult struggles and inspires me to try new things each day. And though I may not have been a boy who loved flinging rocks as a kid, I still have a great deal of fondness for those slingshot memories.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Gold Ochre, Opus (Vivid Pink), Vermilion, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Cobalt Turquoise. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen (Broad Nib) with black 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!
Recommended5 recommendationsPublished in