Father’s Day gift

23 Jun

I started reading An Illustrated Life: Drawing Inspiration from the Private Sketchbooks of Artists, Illustrators and Designers while on vacation last week and got to thinking. My 2-year-old son, Benji, has shown a pretty strong interest in drawing. So much so, he started wanting to draw in my sketchbook. Like any other father who wants his kid to be creative and have a supportive upbringing, I let him draw in my sketchbook, carefully guiding him to draw on the blank pages. I may be partial since Benji is my first-born child, but I was pretty impressed with what he was drawing. Sure some of it looked like your typical 2-year old kid scribbles all over the page, but his happy faces, spiders, and bananas/hot dogs are pretty convincing. I’m fairly certain that his face-drawing skills are strongly influenced by the Mii Channel on the Wii, which he calls “Guys.”

So, a few days before Father’s Day, I decided I wanted to buy Benji a sketchbook of his own. This would be a gift from me to him, which in turn, would be a gift to me. I love watching him learn, grow, and try new things. Why not give him something to help him draw, create, and dream? Plus, I thought it would be great for me and my wife to look back at his drawings and see how much he has changed through his sketches. I hope that he continues to draw and sketch so we can have a little library of his sketchbooks starting at 2 years old. I also wanted to draw with him so it was force me to sketch more often. Now, I have to say, I’m not pushing any of this on him. If that ever changes, I will not force Benji to draw in it, but will always encourage him to keep doing something to challenge himself and keep his mind sharp.

The sketchbook is a standard 8.5″ x 11″ black, hard-bound blank-paged book. I put a label on it with his name so it wouldn’t get mixed up with my completed sketchbooks and told him that this is his special book that he can do whatever he want’s with it. Above are some of his sketches; the top was done before he got the book, and the second one was done today. After I ask him if he’s done with the page, I asked him what he drew so I can note it on the side of the page along with the date.

I plan on keeping a digital record of his sketchbook, to share his progress. I’ll set up a set in flickr and be sure to update this posting with the link.

I wonder if anyone else has done this, and documented it. If you or anyone else has done this, please share!

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