Encouragement, and This Train

Last week the magic that is Twitter led me to an article titled, “Hey, Kid: Thoughts For The Young Oddballs We Need So Badly.” It inspired me to no end, especially the first bit of advice. Here’s a bit of what I loved:


The fact that nobody is doing what you imagine doing is the beginning of your idea, not the end. People want to read things that haven’t been written, see things that haven’t been made, and hear things that don’t yet exist.


About an hour after I read this, I watched my two-year-old son paint his first model train. He’s normally able to concentrate pretty well, but we’d been talking up this train for days so his attention was particularly focused. Though there wasn’t a plan I could discern, each brushstroke was made with great care. He used each of the four colors he had available, sometimes covering one still-wet section with another color. He was delighted as they mixed together—look at that! Green!


The train is no masterpiece by worldly standards, but my son wasn’t painting for anything other than pure love of creating (and unadulterated love of all things train). As he worked, I told him it was my favorite train in the world—the best one I’d ever seen. He agreed; it was his favorite train, too. Because he made it. Because it was just what he wanted it to be. Because he enjoyed the process. And because the product would be a joy to share.


Isn’t that what making art is all about?


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