Once Upon a Doodle…

On Friday, I’ll be hosting another round of ” ‘I CAN’T DRAW’ — a doodle playground” as a Creative Mornings Austin Field Trip for a second time. In preparation, here’s part of my opening piece, adapted from part of Sunni Brown‘s 2015 SXSWedu presentation.

Once upon a time…

…and it could have been ANY time. It could’ve been this morning, last week, last year—or even 30,000 years ago…

…a kid…

…and it could have been ANY kid: a rich kid, a poor kid, my kid – or a kid 30,000 years ago…

…picks up a pencil…

…or it could have been a crayon or a marker or a pen or even just the burnt end of a stick…

%22i-make-marks%22…and they pushed it against something and moved around.  Then they looked down at what they have just done in stunned wonderment and realized:


“What I do stays there after I’m done and that something is something I made!”

And from that moment on—and it’s a wondrous moment is you ever get a chance to see it— the kid is off and drawing. We start off scribbling and just keep drawing and drawing and drawing. Kids are fearless about drawing once they get going. Ask a kid to draw an elephant and they’ll just draw you an elephant. Draw an elf. Okay: elf!

I can draw anything!So what happened to those kids who wouldn’t stop drawing all the time?
How is it that so many of us poor grown-ups insist today, “I can’t draw!”?

wall-of-wordsWell, after a while, the kids go off to school and kindergarten’s all fun and games and all but right along there sometime early in school, the kid suddenly runs smack into…the Wall of Words.

You see, in learning to read and write, we also learn something that is not nearly as useful — or true. We pick up that anything that is Serious (with a capital S) happens in words, not pictures. If we want to be serious, we use words — not pictures. Anything that is NOT in words is not serious…except numbers but that’s another subject entirely!

Meanwhile, if we do still draw as kids, there too often comes a moment when somebody looks at what we have drawn and says, “Ew! What’s that?” and when we say it’s a horse, they laugh out loud, saying, “That doesn’t even LOOK like a horse.”

And that’s when that evil seed of a thought wedges itself into our minds: “I can’t draw.”

That’s all for now, folks. It looks like Friday’s field trip already filled up but as per usual, CMATX has a great wait list system, so you can still take a chance. Me, I better get back to preparing. Oh wait a minute — it’s a playground. No need to get too formal.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
This entry was posted in Buller, creativity, doodle, visual thinking and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Once Upon a Doodle…

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