“Let’s both each draw a picture that’s a fish,” Myla said one day. We each drew our own on the same page, and, as will often happen, she inevitably became more interested in what was going on on MY side.
“Don’t forget his fins,” she’d say. “Or maybe some teeth.”
So I make a joke out of it. “Oh yeah?!? You know what YOURS needs?? Lobster claws. Totally.” And then I reached over to her drawing and doodled a quick pair of claws.
It cracked her up in a cascade of giggles.
“Oh, okay…yours looks great, mom, but it could really use some BIGGGG horns.”
Pretty soon it evolved to an all-out doodle war. “Oh, yours would look SOOOO much better with walrus tusks!” “It’s good, but I think it could really use an elephant trunk,” we say to eachother in our mock-friendly voices. …And on and on.
It’s hilarious to her to impact something I’ve done in a funny way, and a great demonstration of the idea that if you want to have say in what someone else is doing, you might have to be okay with them doing the same to you…
And since it’s just a quick little doodle, there’s nothing sacred in it, other than just having fun and being silly.
I always love what comes of them, as crazy as they are. I’m wondering what a finer version of it might look like. maybe it’d be different than our usual collaborations. It might involve taking some time and patience, which is very difficult for a 5-year old. People have often tried to “tell” us what we should draw together, and while people sometimes have some great ideas, it sort of just has to happen. In my world, the things that I push the hardest on are the things that don’t ever feel as genuine, and therefore aren’t as enjoyable for the viewer or the ones creating it.
But trying something new? I’m always up for that. 🙂