10 Sep 2013
Wheeeee, we are entering that stage of packing and planning before a major trip when you realize that there are twenty other things you need to get done before you go. Good news: we found our travel pillows. Bad news: well, there isn’t any, really, except that there’s a lot more to do! But enough of my organizational maelstrom! I wanted to share a few little maps I’ve made (with some expert help from my favorite four-year-olds) in the past few weeks. I put them on the ‘Gram (is that what the cool kids are calling it these days?), but I don’t think I’ve shared them here yet. They were so much fun, and it was a great confidence booster to just trace some parallel lines and use them as a guide for making fancy scripts. Dreaming up imaginary lands takes me right back to childhood, and, luckily, my helpers were happy to usher me back into that enlightened state. I traced the outlines of land and sea, and they suggested the names and the colors. And then I drew a pirate ship and a bunch of dragons. Because obviously every map needs those. What was going to be the compass rose turned into the sun, but what is a map without a sun? Exactly. (Sorry for the blur on this one–too much creative excitement, I suppose!)
A few days later, I had another chance to sharpen my skills. Excellent names were suggested for the lands, and I dutifully drew castles. And then I decided that there should be a teapot in this land, and that everyone should have their own cup. I must say, it is really fun making maps to order! I never imagined I’d be designing an eight-tower castle for squirrels, but I am pleased to find myself proficient in this art. I can’t overstate how much these little projects boosted my confidence. Even though I love all things artsy and craftsy, I still hold onto some ideas about my abilities that are probably wrong. I have never thought I was good at drawing, and that feeling persists today (though sweet friends are slowly talking me out of it). Even though I preach a big creativity gospel, that doesn’t mean I don’t belong in the pews myself every Sunday. So, I have my watercolors and my colored pencils and my paper and my ideas. Here are two books that have really inspired me: Personal Geographies and The Art of Urban Sketching. I have big plans, but I hope I get to keep drawing squirrel castles too. They really are the best kind of castles.