I know there are people who say there are no coincidences. I've never quite fallen in with that philosophy, but every so often something happens that sounds a lot like "pay attention!" These last few days have been filled with one of these shake-'em-up moments. Specifically, a friend asked me if he could pay me to restore his Christmas angel, a much-loved decoration that has been in his family since the 1940's. A week ago I would not have had the courage to take on this project; I've made a lot of art and I've sold a fair number of it, but those pieces were purchased 'after the fact.' This time, I was in the daunting position of possibly ruining a family treasure. But my venture into creating Toby seemed to give me the confidence I needed to tackle Jake's angel.
This got me thinking about what was no doubt the most valuable thing I ever learned in my education courses: We can't learn something new unless we have an earlier skill or bit of knowledge upon which to base it. A simplistic example: We biked because we could walk; we walked because we could crawl; we crawled because we could roll over; we rolled over because someone first helped us perform this amazing feat. (Yeah, I know it's more complicated than that, but I warned you it was a simplistic example.)
So who knows where Toby will take me next? "Play is work that doesn't feel like it," said one of you in my inquiry about what constitutes play after we're "all growed up." Toby and the angel are work. But it sure doesn't feel like it.
By the way, Toby's not done yet. Check back in the next day or two; his wardrobe is almost finished.