Inspiration from a children’s book

It’s been almost two months since the first “Inspiration” post so it was meant to be when I came across this video this morning! Many of you have heard of the children’s book called “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds. If you haven’t, it’s about a girl named Vashti who is convinced she cannot draw and in a fit of frustration she makes one marker dot in the middle of a blank sheet of paper…which ends up kicking off quite the creative streak! Here’s a video version with illustrations from the book:

There are many things I love about the story.  I love how Vashti has the courage to make just one mark- she has started small and she has started BOLDLY! I love how the teacher not only encourages Vashti to sign her piece so she takes ownership of her very own, unique mark but Vashti’s teacher also frames the piece in a very special gold frame. The teacher asks nothing else of Vashti but to make the first mark, and then she reinforces that movement and let’s Vashti take it from there- the teacher makes no further appearance in the book than to ask Vashti to sign her drawing with the marker dot.

I’m usually not a person who has trouble with Mondays- the “Monday morning blues” haven’t really ever occurred to me, at least in my conscious adult life, and “working for the weekend” will hopefully never be an expression I embrace. But holy cow was yesterday a doozie. For some reason, all of the possibilities of the day were overwhelming and astounding and a starting place seemed so out of reach- I felt like a fish out of water. Have you ever gotten so many ideas in your head you just have to sit and let them wash over? That’s the culmination of the last few months and yesterday was the first time I felt fear instead of excitement- What if things don’t work out? What if we mess up? What if we can’t do it? What if it doesn’t make sense?

What’s the next step to take?

The next step is to make a dot. Just one dot. Peter H. Reynolds calls it “…a simple mark to prove I was alive that day.” I lost my opportunity to make a mark yesterday, but luckily today’s art class so there’s no way to avoid it! Like a good friend told me yesterday…”You don’t have to build something new every day. You already know a lot- build on that. You have to build the foundation to get somewhere, there’s no reason to make it up from scratch every single day.” It’s true! Build on what you know- we do this in art class all the time. We know how to hold a marker. We know how to pick a color. We know how to sign our names. And even if we don’t, we still know the mark that WE and no one else made. And that’s something to be proud of!