The world of ish

‘Ramon felt light and energised.  Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely.’*

ish is Peter Reynolds’ wonderful encouragement to all ages to draw without worrying about getting everything right.

‘Ramon loved to draw.’*

Like so many of us, drawing comes naturally and Ramon pursues it heart and soul.  That is, until his older brother Leon pokes fun:

‘On day, Ramon was drawing
a vase of flowers.
His brother , Leon,
leaned over his shoulder.

Leon burst out laughing.
“What is that?” he asked.’*

Like so many of us, Leon has lost the joy of drawing.  And for most of us, there will have been a time when someone leant into our lives and smirked, or derided, or loftily queried what we were doing; perhaps a parent, a teacher, a peer, an expert.

Instead of drawing just for the love of it, Ramon felt he had to ‘make his pictures look right,’ but when the never did:

‘After many months and
many crumpled sheets of paper,
Ramon put his pencil down.

“I’m done.”

Drawing has stopped for most of us … and usually something else, too.  An idea.  A dream.  A question.

Someone had been watching Ramon all this time.

His little sister Marisol picks up one of the crumpled papers and runs to her room.  Ramon chases into Marisol’s room, only to be stopped in his tracks by a gallery of his crumpled pictures on the walls:

“This is one of my favourites,”
Marisol said, pointing.

“That was supposed to be a vase of flowers,” Ramon said,
“but it doesn’t look like one.”

“Well, it looks vase-ISH!”
she exclaimed.’*

Ish changes everything for Ramon:

‘Ramon felt light and energised.
Thinking ish-ly allowed
his ideas to flow freely.

He began to draw what he felt –
loose lines.
Quickly springing out.
Without worry.’*

Ramon began to draw everything and everywhere, all the time.  He doesn’t stop at ish art but begins writing poems, too.  This is what happens when we start listening to our hearts and pay less attention to everyone else – except when they’re telling us to listen to our heart:

‘We will always need to be humble enough to accept that our heart knows why we are here.’**

This is about pursuing our art – whatever kind of art it might be – and encouraging others to pursue theirs.

Have a look at Hugh Macleod’s Ignore Everybody for some more encouragement towards your creativity.

(*From Peter Reynolds’ ish.)
(**From Paulo Coelho’s Aleph.)


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