Sometimes, I like to sketch ideas out on paper before getting started on a digital art project. In this case, I was obsessed with creating a quote card for one of my favorite quotes: “Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen
So, there I was doodling and writing some hieroglyphics (aka “Rosanna handwritten chicken scratch”). I’ll spare you a glance at that for now, at least until I overcome the shame of having a two year old with better penmanship. Sometimes, I swear I write more to remember than to “take note.” For this project, I knew exactly how I wanted my design to look once it hit the screen. The problem was actually translating that out of my imagination and into “real life.” I was getting frustrated, so I let myself just kind of go with whatever was landing on the page. It was starting to look a little like this . . .
As I’m sitting their with my furrowed brow, too stubborn to give up, I decide to whip out my laptop. Then, I hear, “Mom?”
“Yes,” I reply, completely in auto-response mode. As much as I know that my kids are always watching what I’m doing – trust me, I’m in that mom’s club where I can’t even go to the restroom in peace because my kids are always watching and lurking . . . and I mean always – I didn’t realize my eight year old was just as absorbed in what I was doing as I was.
“What are you doing?” she asks.
“I’m making a quote card for my website,” I respond.
“Oh.” One word response. Totally not typical. I keep working, assuming she’ll ask more questions in spurts, but she doesn’t. She actually sits there quietly and starts drawing. That’s pretty normal. She loves to draw and write stories, so I keep plugging away on my design.
A while later she says, “I want to start a website.”
Hold the phone! Say what?! “You want to start a website?” Mind you, I shouldn’t have been all that surprised. She had brought this up before in the form of an online shop for her rubber band bracelets. I was feeling a tad guilty for stalling on her online shop dreams by asking her to build up some inventory for her project. This request was a little different though – a bit more assertive, maybe? It definitely had a dreamier, yet more serious, tone and it wasn’t a request. It was a statement: “I want to start a website.”
By then, I had come up with this:
Of course, I was in the perfect spot in my workflow to give her my full attention, but honestly, something about the way she made that simple statement would have stopped me in my tracks anyway. Plus I would have been a total hypocrite not to entertain the idea after having worked on that quote. So, I turn to her and I know what I have to say:”Okay. Tell me more.”
On one hand, I didn’t want to let my imagination run wild with the idea and drag her along with my excitement. On the other hand, I was freaking out because of the amount of work that goes into bringing a site to life and I didn’t want to be a dream killer by saying too much. I also knew that if life hadn’t kicked me in the balls (sorry for being so openly crass) by restructuring my life in such an ironically ideal way for going down that path with her, I might have been too busy to even take her seriously. I would have dismissed her with one of those “Go play. Mommy is busy [over-committing to work that makes other people’s dreams happen at the expense of valuable time I’ll never get back with my kids]” statements.
She tells me she wants to create a site where she can show her art to other kids. To make sure I grasp her concept, I ask her to write down her ideas. She comes back with this sketch complete with instructions:
I’ve cropped it to leave out some super detailed specifics. On the bottom there, she narrates what my role will be (in case you were curious). Take a look at those Ms and the language. Her underlying philosophy epitomizes the power of magic and creativity.
I take in the details, proud of her vision, excited by her drive. I realize just how much she pays attention to the what and the how of what I do. I feel my heart expand and the possibilities take my breath away. Together, we jump down the rabbit hole to bring her vision to life.
Throughout the process, I’ve relished in her excitement, her commitment, and her amazing capacity to trust her heart and instincts. I’ll be taking a cue from her example, and I hope you enjoy what she has come up with over at LoveYourImagination.com!