It’s been almost a solid year since I last posted. I thought I’d share a sketch I made with the iOS app Paper by Fifty-Three.
My hyperactive imagination seems to hijack my thoughts at the most inopportune times (during staff meetings, church, and less than exciting conversations). Additionally, I’ve loved to draw since I was a young boy. I am a notorious doodler and tinkerer. I used to add robots and jet planes to the illustrations in my first Bible. I couldn’t be bothered by the impossibility of Moses having robot canines on his rocket-powered Ark. So it’s not surprising that as a teacher, I often create wacky activity sheets for my students at the Boys and Girls Club to help them tap into their inner artistic weirdo. I thought I’d share the the sheets themselves and the examples that I worked up for them. Admittedly, I was just looking for an excuse to draw strange and wonderful faces, figures, and hairstyles*.
* All art created with pencil, pen, and markers. Shadows and backgrounds were added digitally.
Being flawed is easy. It comes to us naturally. We all make mistakes. We’re human.
Yet mistakes are necessary and productive in our lives. The more we allow ourselves to make mistakes (and to learn from them), the faster our characters grow. For my third group session at Synergy’s Youth Resiliency Center we worked together to turn mistakes into masterpieces.
Let me explain.
Each participant was given a blank piece of paper and instructed to draw an irregular shape on it — no hearts, or perfect circles or squares — something that is nothing; a mistake. Then we traded papers, passing them to our left. I asked the kids to add their own touch to the shape (make it an alien, a monster, or whatever). Every time the one-minute timer went off, we passed again to our left. We eventually worked all the way around the studio, until everyone had their original paper back — their “mistakes” now transformed into pieces of art. Some shapes had tentacles added, while others grew extra heads or eyes. Some looked like Picasso –some looked more like Picante sauce — but they were all changed for the better. The odd, irregular shapes were gone. Now there was an extraterrestrial. Now there was a fantasy creature, the (ahem) “Uni-Horse-Dog”. Maybe the finished products were not masterpieces per se, but now they represented ideas, thought, and creation instead of being erratic marks or meaningless blobs on paper.
What if we allowed God to turn our mistakes into masterpieces? What if we allowed others into our struggles and leaned on our communities to help us heal? What if we treated our misunderstandings the way we used to as children — as teachable moments? What if we allowed our failures to become something unexpectedly beautiful?