Sunday, January 8

New Year’s resolution number 2

In the last post about New Year’s resolutions I concluded that it’s better to pat dragons on their heads than to ignore them or run away. However, I also admitted that there are some dragons that just don't respond to this treatment, and then I made a hasty promise to tackle this issue in my next post. So here I am with my three-step-guide:

1.  Take a small step
You just start with a tiny step in the right direction. For inspiration use “The Dot” by Peter H. Reynolds.

The Dot
This book is wonderfully illustrated in watercolour, ink, and tea (yes) and tells the story of Vashti, who insists that she can’t draw. So her teacher tells her "Just make a mark and see where it takes you".

When Vashti makes an angry dot on the page her teacher encourages her to sign this work of art. This act forces Vashti to see that where there's a dot there's a way.

2.  Adapt
When you challenge nasty dragons you will inevitably suffer some scratches & bites. You will need to duck & dive, pick yourself off the floor and adapt quickly and creatively.

In “Perfect Square” the graphic designer & book illustrator Michael Hall uses acrylic monotype ink prints to tell a story of a square that gets torn up, snipped & ripped. But fear not, because it is through these challenges that the square transforms itself into some beautiful stuff. When it gets snipped into ribbons it changes itself into a river, and when it gets cut into strips it becomes a park, and so on.  
“On Tuesday, the square was torn into scraps.”
"so it made itself into a garden."

3. Don’t give up
Tough dragons require lots of patience, self-belief and perseverance - qualities displayed beautifully in “The Carrot Seed”. 

The Carrot Seed
This 1945 book written by Ruth Krauss & illustrated by Crockett Johnson is about a boy who plants a carrot seed and waits patiently.

Even though everyone around him insists that the carrot “won’t come up”, he continues to tend to it carefully and with conviction, waters his seed, pulls the weeds and waits.

Sure enough, an impressive carrot springs forth from the earth. “Just as he knew it would.”
And if all fails, enjoy the beautiful artwork, humour and inspiration in these three books, and then try again; or as Samuel Beckett put it (Worstward Ho, 1983):

        Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. 
         Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Concept art from the film “How to Train Your Dragon”

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! I liked it all but most the "fail better" part. Which brings to my mind my motto from a great classic, "Mother Goose": "For every evil under the sun there is a remedy or there is none, if there is one seek till you find it - if there is none never mind it".


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