Myla loves to create. I’m not sure if all kids have this same sort of passion for different things, but with her and art, it doesn’t seem like just a hobby. It’s a fierce, overwhelming, and wonderful passion.
You can see it in her face when she has an idea. It’s in her posture, in her body positioning. It’s in the endless scraps of paper, staples, and tape scattered all around her feet.
She gets an idea, and starts pacing as she thinks it through out loud, figuring out a plan, then hunches furiously over her workspace, anxious to get the idea out. I recognize it because I do it, too. It’s just amazing to witness in someone else.
Sure, this means her workspace is in constant need of being cleaned & straightened up. Sure, we have tons and tons of projects taped to the walls, stuffed in drawers and baskets, and tucked away in scrapbooks and closets. But to me, having her be able to make an idea turn into reality, no matter how big or small, is worth every bit.
So the first day of January, Myla woke up saying, “I had a dream about a doll I have never seen before–but in my dream, it was mine.”
She wouldn’t stop talking about it. It overtook all conversation.
I asked her to describe it, so she rushed to her table, saying “I’ll just draw it for you.”
As she sketched it out, she asked, “could we maybe try to make it?” I didn’t really understand what she was describing, but when I said we could try, she sketched out step-by-step instructions.
“First, a tube out of fabric.” (Most likely, this idea came from watching me make my little Dream Creeper dolls). “Next, stuffing. Then, wooden wheels on the bottom. We could even use the wheels from one of my wooden racecar projects.”
It was a sort of sheep-car. She called it a “shcar.”
There have been times she’s had ideas that, for whatever reason, were impossible to make, and I’ve had to say no. But when I’m able, I like to do what I can to help her make an idea come to reality. Mostly because I know how GOOD that feels…
And when we work on ideas like this, the general guideline is that we have to use things that we already have in the art room. Thankfully, with a little wonky ingenuity (and after only an hour or so), we made it happen.
It would be much easier to have said “no.” It would have been very easy to “shush up” a kid. To tell her to go make something on her own, to not bother you, to go play.
But if she’s passionate about an idea, and you can help her make it happen, then wouldn’t it be nothing but good to TRY?
So here is Shcar.
Shcar is wonky and misshapen. His wheels wobble. But you know who thinks he’s awesome? Myla does. Because she helped create him. And I don’t think it’s the actual DOLL that she loves as much as the idea she had that became a real thing.
She’s shown kids at school her Shcar, but they unfortunately don’t see the magic in it that I do. I told her it was okay–that artists see and think about things in a different way than a lot of people–like we have magic in us–and that makes people see artists as “weird.” But honestly, I wouldn’t trade my “weird” creative brain for all the “normalcy” in the world.
I don’t think anything but good can come out of encouraging creativity, and encouraging someone’s passion. You have to be willing to recognize that passion and respect it, even if you don’t understand it. You have to make room for it, and feed it so it can grow.
One of my all-time very favorite things on this (despite the “stoner” reference) comes from director Kevin Smith:
So whatever you’re passionate about, KEEP DOING IT! Instead of discouraging it in others, KEEP DOING IT! And whenever you see it in someone else, whether you understand it or not, encourage them to KEEP DOING IT!
Most beautiful, and ingenious! How wonderful-I told you my story of making up a doll. Bless my Mother for being so so honest! To her, because she didn’t see “it”, in her way, she said what was honest to her. If she would have encouraged me to her that was being dishonest! Anyway, what you do is beautiful. Keep explaining how to her how you who are artistic have a magic in you that others may not see….but when you see it come to life, when you see a smile of recognition in someone else’s eyes…you feel so good!
I can’t describe how eagerly I look forward to these posts. I think you and your daughter are absolutely amazing and your relationship with each other role models in ways that even a childless woman (chosen status) like me can learn and be inspired and motivated. I’ve been wanting to purchase something of yours at the various places available, but I love everything so much I haven’t been able to choose. Your daughter is going to be an AMAZING woman – as are you already!
I think her schar is BEAUTIFUL!
I love what you said here most of all: I told her it was okay–that artists see and think about things in a different way than a lot of people–like we have magic in us–and that makes people see artists as “weird.” But honestly, I wouldn’t trade my “weird” creative brain for all the “normalcy” in the world.
Thank you, as always, for sharing.
“But if she’s passionate about an idea, and you can help her make it happen, then wouldn’t it be nothing but good to TRY?”
You are doing an amazing job as a mother. Bravo.
This is my first favorite post of the year. Thank you!
You make my soul sing. I love this post so much. I love everything that you post so much but especially this. Blessings to you and your wonderful Myla.
I absolutely see the magic…
Thank you for the reminder to let kids create. I do my best to be conscientious of allowing my students the opportunity to create. This year, I have lost sight of that. I’m going to bring it back into my classroom.
Oh my gosh, this is very inspiring as an artist AND mom. It’s great being an artist mom-of-an-artist, no? This is such a great post. I applaud your daughter’s creativity and your support of her creativity. The best thing I’ve seen today. 🙂
Society can often have little patience for children. It’s so wonderful that you give your daughter your time and creativity !
So inspiring! Thank you!