The Box vs The Toy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I was listening to a TEDtalk on creativity & play, and Tim Brown brought up an interesting scene: the box vs. the toy. At Christmas, kids tend to play more with the boxes than the toys inside them. I know I did, and the reason is exploration. Kids are more engaged with open possibilities and the box has more potential for the imagination than a toy, which has a very specific use. It also made me think of Le Petit Prince:

"If you please-- draw me a sheep..."
When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey. Absurd as it might seem to me, a thousand miles from any human habitation and in danger of death, I took out of my pocket a sheet of paper and my fountain-pen. But then I remembered how my studies had been concentrated on geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar, and I told the little chap (a little crossly, too) that I did not know how to draw. He answered me:
"That doesn't matter. Draw me a sheep..."
But I had never drawn a sheep. So I drew for him one of the two pictures I had drawn so often. It was that of the boa constrictor from the outside. And I was astounded to hear the little fellow greet it with,
"No, no, no! I do not want an elephant inside a boa constrictor. A boa constrictor is a very dangerous creature, and an elephant is very cumbersome. Where I live, everything is very small. What I need is a sheep. Draw me a sheep."
sheep-1So then I made a drawing. He looked at it carefully, then he said:
"No. This sheep is already very sickly. Make me another."
So I made another drawing.
My friend smiled gently and indulgenty.
"You see yourself," he said, "that this is not a sheep. This is a ram. It has horns." So then I did my drawing over once more.
But it was rejected too, just like the others.
sheep-3"This one is too old. I want a sheep that will live a long time."
By this time my patience was exhausted, because I was in a hurry to start taking my engine apart. So I tossed off this drawing.
And I threw out an explanation with it.
box"This is only his box. The sheep you asked for is inside."
I was very surprised to see a light break over the face of my young judge:
"That is exactly the way I wanted it!"

Growing up and even until college, I very much resented being poor. I remember my first painting consisted of washable kindergarten paint, cheap craft acrylic, fabric puff paint & marker. My parents couldn't afford art classes or art camp, so I watched Bob Ross & Big A on channel 9 (PBS). We didn't have money to go out or go on vacations, so I spent my days indoors cutting from magazines for collages, "painting" the walls with a dry paint brush (which I later figured out was a trick to get me to dust... child labor!!), watching & pausing Disney movies on VHS to draw the different frames. I did the most I could from the little scraps of creativity around the house, but that most equated to a lot. I spent a significant amount of my childhood having to play with a box rather than a toy, not to say I didn't manage to get an NES for Christmas one year... that's one box I really loved haha! Anyway, eventually I came to realize what I once thought was a disadvantage (especially after going to USC where the rich kiddies can afford every head start) was quite the advantage.

There's the saying "think out side the box" (or bun [wah wah]). But really, there's nothing wrong with thinking within it. It'd probably do you & your imagination some good.

Progress Report #3.: Cigarette

Yay! Almost finished! He's not stuffed with cotton yet. For now he's stuffed with...
But not just any Pringles...
Photo booth photos are reflected (wah wah), but yes, that's grilled shrimp flavor. And the pringles are as pink as the can! WEIRD

Tree a Day #20: Painting Progress

they now each have fun toys!

Progress Report #2: Cigarette

The Orchestra Came BACK!!

I was already up in the condo when I heard the sweet sound of opera in the air. I looked out into the city from the balcony and saw the source... Live music in the park across the street! Ang libre-libre! Maganda naman! Two free symphonic concerts in one week! I felt like I was in NYC enjoying the summer concerts! Well, I guess it is summer here. Tomorrow marks the Philippines' summer equinox. I will do a bunch of balancing yoga poses to celebrate the day :)

On another random note, I was very productive today! I swam, did an hour & half of yoga, sewed, painted, went to a concert, ate an ice cream sandwich from a vendor (they use pan de sal here it's weird), and overheard someone sing all the small things by blink 182. Of course, I joined in! Na na na naaa na nananaaaaahhh. Oh, and I heard Brian McKnight's greatest hits for the second time being here. I don't understand!!
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