BY ANNE BELOV
Sept. 18, 2014
There are so many different “Special Day” designations that it’s hard to keep them all straight.
For instance, this Saturday, Sept. 20, is International Red Panda Day (who knew?) a day to celebrate those cute little critters that sort of look like red-headed raccoons and are no relation whatsoever to Giant Pandas.
On Sept. 19, it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day, yaar, me hearties! which will be celebrated with much hilarity over at The Panda Chronicles with the piratical adventures of Mr. Wu.
But of all the days that one can celebrate, one of my favorites has just passed. It is International Dot Day, which was inspired by the Peter Reynolds book, “The Dot.” The whole point of Dot Day is to inspire creativity, and to make your mark on the world in some creative fashion. Schools and their students the world over commemorate the day with painting, singing and any other creative activity they can think of.
I’ve talked before about how important making art was to me as I was growing up, and how so many school districts have slashed their art, music and drama budgets to keep the lights turned on, and the taxpayers…um, less unhappy than they already are.
But, it turns out that letting your mind go out to play is one of the best things you can do to help you learn the hard stuff—like math and science.
The process in “writing” my wordless picture book, Pandamorphosis, was a long one, and without giving myself the permission to let my mind wander, experimenting, writing, re-writing, sketching and scribbling, the book would never have come to be. I’ll be giving a presentation at 11 a.m. this Friday (Sept. 19) at the Freeland Branch of the Sno-Isle Library to talk about the inspiration and the process of writing this book.
I was lucky to grow up in an era that included art, music and drama as part of a public school education. I applaud and appreciate the efforts of the folks who have made creativity a viral phenomenon in the world. You can see the “dots” that thousands of illustrators and writers have created over at the Celebridots website. (Um…including mine!)
Maybe next year on Sept. 15, there will be Dot Day celebrations here too.
Anne Belov paints, writes, makes prints, and is the founder of The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire. You can find her paintings at the Rob Schouten Gallery, her cartoons on The Panda Chronicles, and her new book here. Find her regularly at Thank Blog It’s Friday here at WLM.
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