My kids have obsessions. Deep, drawn-out obsessions. And sometimes, as with my 5-year-old and Kraftwerk, we get so far into the obsession that I can’t even remember when or how the obsession began.
Our 3-year-old’s latest obsession is drawing Edvard Munch’s The Scream. WTF?
It all began when he was inspecting Welcome to Mamoko and came across this picture of an art thief. (Oh, the irony of life.) he zoomed in and pointed it out to my wife. “Painting!”
So, my wife printed out a photo of the painting from the internet, and he immediately began copying it. (Copying is how we learn.) The above picture was drawn on June 15th.
Here’s a drawing from July 7th — four weeks later! He was still drawing the scream.
The next day, we took him to the Blanton Museum, thinking maybe we’d see some weird expressionist painting that would be a good substitute. No such luck.
But then we were walking past the window of the gift shop and he stops and shouts, “Mama!” What does he point to? A frickin’ finger puppet of The Scream. In a huge pile of other finger puppets!
So the obsession continues. Who knows how long it will last?
Yesterday, I was lettering the cover for my next book, over and over again. I tried to channel Jules drawing The Scream.
I kept thinking about how much of my work is just being obsessed. Giving myself over to things that interest me, not just for a few days or a few weeks, but for months and for years.
It’s thrilling to watch my kids have the time and space for their obsessions. To see where they go. They keep teaching me how to learn.