There is a fair amount of pressure writing your first blog of the year. You want to make it meaningful, full of hope and good intention. I could write about being grateful that I was born in the United States and not Egypt or Tunisia. I could write that while the Northwest is always gray and rainy during the winter, I am not buried under feet of snow and record breaking cold. But what I really want to write about is one of my favorite books of all time…a book that is a continual source of inspiration for me and, I hope, others.
It is a book for children and it is called “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds.
Why am I writing about a children’s book? Because it carries a profound message to everyone…of any age. I first read it to my daughter’s kindergarten class when I was the art docent. In an effort to ease the children into their own creative expression…no matter how it turned out or what it looked like…I found this glorious story.
It is about a young girl who feels she can’t draw, isn’t as talented as the other kids around her and is feeling frustrated. Her teacher invites her to look at her blank piece of paper and “to make a mark and see where it takes you”. She makes a dot. The teacher picks up the paper with the dot and then asks her to sign it. The next day the little girl comes in to class to see that her signed dot has been framed by the teacher and is hanging prominently in a beautiful gold frame. The little girl is then inspired to make an even better dot…in fact, she goes on a “dot fest” and creates lots of paintings with all kinds of dots of various sizes and colors. Her dot paintings are then displayed at the school art show and much to her delight and surprise, folks think they are pretty cool. A young boy comes up to her saying he wishes he could draw like she does. And yes, the girl invites him to make his own mark, a squiggle, and then to sign it. Needless to say, the young boy goes from desperation to delight.
So here is my New Year’s wish for all of you…make your mark! It doesn’t matter if it is something you paint, draw, sew, play, collage, write, photograph, cook, drink, wear, arrange, make, grow, sing, dance or design. Just do it, for you. The world will be a better place because of it.
And if you are stuck, you can always go to our “Lesson in Decoupage” and start there.
Thank you Peter H. Reynolds!