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31.7.12

ish

ish
by Peter H. Reynolds

I have a perfectionist tendency that I fight regularly.  Along with my love of books, I love to make pictures.  When I am in the darkroom or at my computer, I usually get to a place when I have to remind myself not to let perfect be the enemy of the good.  You see, once I start to expect constant improvement, the fun slips away.  It would seem that I have passed this trait onto my son (a double whammy-nature and nurture).  This week I discovered he was hesitant to draw because he isn't "good" and his pictures don't look "just" like the object in his mind's eye.  After this talk we resolved to find some books on how to draw and perhaps a teacher, and I went to my bookshelf for ish by Peter H. Reynolds.  When I lack the courage to try something new, I regularly reach for it for confidence.

It begins with Ramon happily drawing.  His brother looks over his shoulder and ridicules the drawing. Not to be beaten by his brother, Ramon keeps at the drawing, but doubt has crept into his work.  He becomes increasingly frustrated until he quits with a final crumple of a drawing.  He throws it on the floor. His sister Marisol enters the room.  She snatches up the drawing that has been cast aside and runs to her room.  Ramon follows, not wanting her to have his drawing.  He barges into Marisol's room to find a gallery of his work.  Ramon tries to explain that the work is missing the mark and just isn't "right."  Marisol doesn't argue, but points out that the vase is vase-ish.  With this thought, Ramon's joy is restored, as seen in this excerpt from the book.

"Ramon felt light and energized.  Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely."  

Reynolds dedicates the book to Doug Kornfeld, an art teacher who, "dared him to draw for himself and find his voice."  This fable reminds us that we must be mindful of and carefully tend the creative spark in ourselves and others.

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