Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holidays

Best wishes to you and your family, whatever holiday you plan on celebrating this season.

"Santy Clos" by my daughter, aged 5

A few weeks ago, my family and I drove to a local town where you could ride on an old train for a few miles, pick up Santa at the "North Pole" and bring him back to the station. Along the way, teenagers in elf ears and Christmas hats served cookies and milk. One of the teenaged elves read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" over the train's PA system.

Now I don't know about the rest of the world, but if you live in America and celebrate Christmas then you've probably heard the poem a hundred times by the time you're fifteen. Except this particular teenager seemed totally unfamiliar with the poem and when she read from the book she made several (unintentionally hilarious) mistakes. Instead of saying Santa's eyes "twinkled" she said that they "tinkled" and instead of saying that "he laid his finger aside of his nose" she read it as "he laid his finger inside of his nose". Every time she made a mistake she was very embarassed and got more and more flustered. Then after that the elves began leading the train in Christmas Carols. They asked the crowd to yell out requests and there were spirited renditions of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Deck the Halls". Just as we were coming off a succesful version of "Frosty" and building momentum, somebody yelled out a request for "Feliz Navidad". The crowd rolled into it, trying to keep up our energy, but it quickly became apparent that nobody knew the words. Everybody knew the words to the chorus, but after that everybody starting humming, hoping that the person next to them would know the Spanish lyrics to the rest of the song, but appaprently nobody did.

It's hard to convey how truly magical and fun the night was, and I can only say that it was one of those moments where life is funnier, more magical, more charming and whimsical than any movie could ever hope to be. The moral of this treacly holiday tale is to draw your inspiration from real life, not things other people have made. The real people you come across in your life are far more compelling and nuanced than any charcter created in a script could be. the real things that happen to you every day are far more sad, funny and entertaining than any movie. If you do your best to portray life as you have lived it in your work, what you produce will always be compelling and interesting. Try to show the truth of the world as you know it and not as others have shown it to you. The original is always better than the copy.

Anyway, here's wishing you and yours a good holiday season. I'll post the end of the Robin Hood boards after the 25th.


River said...

Well said, Mark! Thanks for sharing your story with us, and your blog is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you - well said!

Randeep Katari said...

Great words to live by sir. I hope you have a great holiday season and best wishes for the new year!


Tom Dougherty said...

I want to thank you for all of the hard work you put into this most excellent blog. I hope you have a great holiday and a great year in 2007.


Joel Chua said...

I guess now's the best time to say ... how much I love this blog! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Mark & family! This blog's material really made rethink just how much design goes into illustration.

Looking forward to more educational posts next year!

Anonymous said...

Amen Mark. Thanks for sharing this story and the highly important lesson. Best to you and your family for the holidays.

christopher said...

Merry Christmas Mark and thanks for the wonderful blog!

Shane P said...

I love Christmas events like that , and youre daughters drawing is hillarious! I love his arms. I'm a big fan of your blog man. Merry Christmas.

Benjamin said...

I was just rereading a whole bunch of posts about drawing, and it once again shows how valuable this blog is. This post is great too... It makes me wish I was there! Thanks a lot, and Happy Holidays!

Jenny said... of the best posts ever, Mark--I wish I'd written it! ; )
Seriously--I think this all the time, and it can't be stated too often, to look to real life.

Apart from that, I just plain love your tale of a Kennedy family version of "A Chirstmas Story"! Priceless.
Have a swell time tonight and all week--and I love your daughter's Santa portrait--the kids never leave off the crucial "ho ho ho"--you notice?

Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for that post; it's very inspiring. Life is magical.

Buy Viagra said...

Everybody knew the words to the chorus, but after that everybody starting humming, hoping that the person next to them would know the Spanish lyrics to the rest of the song, but appaprently nobody did.