I am asking myself, are you crazy? Are you insane? Are you psychotic? …
My son drew this and I colored it..
The above are pictures that were drawn by my son, I colored it and my daughter traced it. Asking me frankly, I do not know what he was drawing. When I asked him to explain to me, he explained but I cannot understand what he is talking about. We argued. We argued about the direction of the picture, we argued about the color and we argued the “creatures” that he drew.
My daughter who was going to take her primary 3 science exam, suddenly joined in the discussions, applying her newly learned science principles living vs. non living things… and said that the creature looked like a living thing because apparently, they are responsive to touch and able to reproduce….. and stopped at saying,”is a pea-shooter”..a character in the i-phone game- Plant vs. Zombie.
That is the fun of it. Nobody in my current circles of friends or relatives knew that I love coloring or drawing patterns. The same applies to my son. Nobody knew that he like to draw until very recently when he started his primary one education.
My son, aged 7 apparently like to draw. This is a drawing booklet distributed by his school promoting healthy eating habits sponsored by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board. Every students have a copy including his sister. He would put this booklet in his school bag and started to draw when he had free times such as after the recess before the class starts, before attending the daily assembly at school hall, or when he finish his home work and have nothing to draw. T
One day, he dropped this book in the floor and picked up by his mother. My wife and I were rather shocked to discover that the book was full of drawings. Only then we knew that he liked to draw. He had tried to explain to us about the “creatures” or “monsters”, its roles but we can’t really understand except her sister who partly understood what he was trying to say. It is rather obvious what he drew were very much influenced by the cartoon series, computer games and his own imaginations. Cartoon series like Ben 1o, Power Ranger, Beyblade Metal Fusion, Ninja Warrior, computer games like plant vs. zombie etc. is deep rooted in his mind, I presumed. But he drew his own version of monster and occasionally will label the monster as his sister or himself. He even have a monster version of his favorite soft toy “piglet’”…
DECISION TO COLOR
When the book was full of drawing, he requested some more papers for fun drawing. He told his mom that he do not want that book anymore. I looked at the book and couldn’t agree with him to throw away the book. I told him that what he drew, though monstrous, will still look very nice if it is colored. He said he cannot. I said if he wanted to throw the book, he might as well give it to me. He just handled me the book with a couldn’t care less attitude.
I asked my kids for some color pencils that they were not using now (I can find it all over the house) and these were what they have gave me!
I started to color it in the balcony when I have my smoking breaks. It took about one to two days for me to color the first picture. When I colored the picture, it quickly reminded me of the time when I was young and liked to draw designs using different combinations of ink colors, shapes and patterns as mentioned in my earlier post here. It did not take long before I decided to color the rest of the pages. I discovered that I loved it, I am insane, I know. Even though I didn’t understand what he drew, I just colored my own way based on my perceptions and it is not uncommon that we argued on the choice of colors.
The first drawing was complete 2 days later.
I showed it to him, he started to believe that coloring can make a difference. I then used my smoking break, sat on the balcony and colored the booklet. I have to admit that it is really a very good de-stress measure for me. I found that it was hard to stop especially when I took up the coloring pencil. My mind was flooded with my childhood memories and it was definitely a sad fact that none of my brothers or people closed to me knew that I like to draw and color. But that were reasonable and understandable as when I was young, we were not well to do and we could hardly had any good coloring pencils, crayons for the coloring and not to mention, a blank piece of good quality sketching paper..
The second piece was completed 2 days later.
Progress on the coloring depends my much on my moods, inspirations and time available. However, it usually took one to two days. In fact, I did not have much time to color it as I had to blog, to cook and to take care of my kids at the same time. I colored when I felt I liked and usually less than 15 minutes a session. I didn’t understand what I colored but I just find that it is nice piece of work and wanted to share with readers. For reader’s information, I have never attended any formal arts lessons and I colored based on what I perceived as beautiful and acceptable. I have no theoretical background to back up my choice of color, my coloring strokes, type of materials used to color etc. Most important of all, I liked what I colored and I wanted to let those around me to uncover another aspect of me and finally to tell my kids that what is plain and ordinary can be transformed into something that is beautiful and eye catching.
Third and fourth piece was completed on yesterday evening and this morning respectively.
Third drawing (left) and Fourth drawing (below)
WHY CRAZY? WHY INSANE?
I came from a traditional Chinese family where my parents were illiterate. They hailed from the Fujian Province, China and settled in Sarawak, Malaysia about 100 years ago. The priority of life at that time was to survive and to learn how to make a living. Though they knew that education is important, but it will be the second priority unless it was sorts of compulsory education implemented by the Government. They will feel proud if their kids can pass Form 5 or 6 and earn some money to help the family financially. Being the youngest siblings of all, I am the luckiest as by the time I was born, the family financial background have somehow stabilized and I am able to pursue my education until Form 6 and have some scholarship to finish my degree education.
Most parents of Chinese origins will not encourage their children to pursue arts education. For them, arts are non-income generating and artists are generally considered as very poor. I hope it would not offended any readers of cultural and arts background but this were their perceptions. Artists here not only refers to the artists that draw, but also including artists like performing artists (singers, dancers) etc.. They will prefer to have sons or daughters who are professionals like accountant, doctor, engineers, lawyers etc. as compared to an artist son or daughters. They believe those involved in arts and culture have no “future” and unreliable financially. It is likely that they will against their daughters marrying a man who is involved in “arts”.
Most parents if they knew that their children was sketching or drawing some things in school, the kids will be penalized and criticized as being unproductive, wasting time and should have using the time to learn spelling, memorizes multiplication tables and other academic related activities. They believed no matter how good you kids are in the arts and culture, they will have no “future” if they are doing well academically.
I endorsed my child’s drawing and I even lay my hands to color what he drew. He is “crazy” as he did not study during his free times at school and he drew monsters that will not be appreciated by most “rational” parents or adults.
I am “insane” because I did not ask my son to stop drawing and I proceed to color the monster that he had drawn and post it in the blog… I am shameful that at my age of nearly 50, I still live in my world of fantasy and play with my kids like a child…..As a gesture of politeness, people may not criticize me for what I am doing but deep inside their hearts, I do not think that they will feel proud and not to mention, endorse their kids if their kids are doing this… I may be wrong but …
Lastly, just to share with you how my kid traced the outline of picture four. The picture was taken without his knowledge!
Thanks for reading. By the way, can you find the pea shooter in my kid’s drawing.