When I was a kid, I recieved an “artists sketch pad” for christmas from my parents. My mother always called me “her little artist.” For some reason, I think that she knew that I was going to eventually abandon my athletic upbringing in favor of other paths. Anyway… I was excited to receive this sketch pad for several reasons. First of all, it looked pretty cool, second, she gave me some colored pencils to go with it, and third, it made me feel like a “legit” artist. Feeling like a “legit” artist was empowering, so I packed up my sketch pad and went looking for inspiration.
I remember taking a flashlight and traveling deep into the depths of my new sleeping bag (head where my feet should be) and deciding that the subject of this important artistic project would be “super heroes”. So, I started drawing wavy lined, imperfect figures with my black colored pencil, making sure that the tip stayed perfectly sharp (I always loved the sharpener). Batman, Robin, Superman, Aquaman and Green Lantern all made an appearance. No detail was overlooked…
When it came time to color in these visual masterpieces, I decided that my artistic twist would be to reverse the uniform colors on their super suits. I thought “what a genius idea.” So, Superman’s traditional blue suit became red… You get the idea (not sure what I did with Green Lantern). The book was stocked with reverse-sleeping bag, reverse super-heroes. Every page with a different misfit. I even gave them a new super-name… I think “Robin” became “Bobin” (how clever).
When I showed my Mom, I remember thinking that this must be the most creative, visually stunning thing that has ever touched the planet Earth… She even giggled a bit at the “clever” names that I created for each Super-misfit. “How did I do it” I thought… “How am I capable of creating such beauty at such a young age… I must be REALLY smart.”
I thought of this moment several times going through my design classes in college. Thanks Mom, your the “REALLY smart” one.