Just a cool couple of links for your amusement and inspiration.
If you didn’t catch the All Things Considered story on NPR earlier this week in which Michelle Norris interviews Mo Willems (author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and lots of other important books), go have a listen, and a look.
Willems is concerned–and rightly so–that adults don’t draw enough. After a point, he notes, we decide we aren’t good at it, so we simply quit. He compares this to deciding you’ll no longer play basketball for fun once you realize you’re not going to make it to the NBA, and he urges all of us to pick up a pencil or a pen or a crayon and go for it.
Willems also puts in a plug for letting your children catch you in the act–little kids think it’s cool to do what adults do, so you may as well set a good example and let them see you drawing.
Mo Willems’ blog has a great shot of his dining room, which is painted in blackboard paint, and in which his family engages in “family draws.” This tickled me, because when ours were little we did the same thing–not in the dining room, which I co-opted and turned into my office soon after we moved in–but in a tiny, narrow pantry hallway connecting the kitchen with my office. It has shelves and cupboards against one side and a plain bare wall on the other. We bisected that empty wall horizontally, covered the top half in cork board, coated the bottom with blackboard paint, and put up a chalk rail in the middle. I’d show you a picture, except the hallway is so narrow there’s not room to step back far enough to photograph it.
It provided years of amusement, and inspired a number of complex illustrated stories, including a memorable one in which two eels come calling (“We the eels! Taste like chicken!”).
Maybe you had to be there. Got a bare wall? Maybe you can.