My son’s elementary school is holding a bookmark designing contest. One child in each cycle will win a 10$ gift certificate from our local Babar Books.
There are two rules: 1. the design can only be in black and white. 2. That the design be somehow related to books, libraries, reading, etc.
My 7-year-old was lost. Seeing he was just getting frustrated, I decided to draw my own, hoping to inspire. Here’s what came:
An open book, with wiggles that looked like waves across the page for text. Out of the book was a creature jumping. Under the open book was a bed, and under the bed at the very bottom of the page was a setting sun with rays penetrating upwards. On top of the book I drew a heart, a cloud, and some sort of mythical creature. Then I drew a moon and some stars. At the very top corner in the left I drew a swing with a stick child swinging through the cloud and heart and creature. Then I added branches that descended and falling leaves that landed under the bed. The leaves turned into music notes and floated away.
It’s all about the imagination, I told my kids, the imagination books draw out of us. When we read a story, we each see it differently.
What this? I asked pointing to the creature jumping out of the book / water.
A mermaid, said the 4-year-old.
A dolphin, said the 7-year-old.
The baby did not answer
That is why I drew things that can look like one thing, or another, depending on who’s looking, I said. And it can change each time we look at it as well.
My 7-year-old drew monsters and people, of all sorts and shapes and sizes. He didn’t use this as his final product, he went with something much more cautious (the word BOOKS, and stick figures around it). My 4 year old drew exactly what I drew.
Books give imagination life, and let it loose. Writing, to me, is just and extension of that. When I am editing, I can get caught up in the logistics of things. I can forget that a line is perfect when it ignites one of our 5 (or 6) senses, not when everything is in it’s place. Sometimes everything has to be out of place to turn an idea into something tangible. Something that we can each hold in our own unique way.