1 Sketchbook + 2 Artists = The Art of Sharing

by Meredith Mullins on December 12, 2013

Dragon lady, creative expression from Mica and Myla Hendricks showing the art of sharing and collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Creative Collaboration: Shore
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Creative Expression from a Dynamic Duo

“If you can’t share, we might have to take it away from you.”

These are words of wisdom that many parents use to teach youngsters the fine art of sharing.

However, in this story, the wisdom came from an unexpected source. The insight was offered by a 4-year-old.

The young artist—Myla—was eyeing her mother’s new sketchbook, with its rich inviting paper, perfect for inspiring colorful drawings.

“Can I draw in it too, Mama?” Myla was getting excited.

Artist mom Mica Hendricks was enjoying the new treasure, sketching some of her signature faces (personalities that combined the best elements of movie stills, Maurice Sendak, and RJ Crumb). She wasn’t too interested in sharing.

“If you can’t share, we might have to take it away from you.” Her daughter’s tone was serious. The ultimate guilt trip. What was a mother to do?

“I was going to draw a body on this lady’s face,” Mom explained, pulling the sketchbook just out of Myla’s reach, protective of the work-in-progress.

Myla was quick to pounce. “I’ll do it,” she said confidently and grabbed a pen. Without hesitation, she deftly turned the woman’s face into a full-length portrait of a “Dinosaur Woman.”

Dinosaur woman, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Dinosaur Woman
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Mica loved what she saw and found another face in the sketchbook. Myla drew a body on that one too.

Myla’s drawing was carefree. Her ideas came straight from her imagination. She was confident that she was on equal footing with Mom. Two artists coming together with a perfect marriage of styles.

Mom finished the drawings by adding color, highlights, and texture. Creative expression at its best.

Mr. Beaver, creative expression from Mica and Myla Hendricks, showing the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Mr. Beaver
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Creative Collaboration

Thus began a beautiful collaborative artistic relationship (that soon went viral), a synergy filled with life lessons and creative freedom—on all sides.

It was about more than sharing a sketchbook. It was about sharing a creative process . . . and time together.

“Do you have any heads for me today,” Myla would ask each morning. And so, Mica would make sure there was a head or two to inspire the imagination.

Multiple images of creative collaboration process, showing the art of sharing and creative expression (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

The Creative Collaboration Process
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Sometimes Mica had suggestions, but Myla generally ignored these, since her creative vision was clear.

Mica came to the realization that “kids’ imaginations outweigh grownups’, and the collaborative drawings “always looked better than what I imagined.”

Red apple raccoon, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Red Apple Raccoon
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Mica had always thought that her own drawings were whimsical, coming from her inner quirky child. However, working alongside Myla, she realized how far away from that childlike freedom she was.

“What I learn from Myla every day, as a mom as well as an artist, is not to fight something just because it doesn’t match the idea in your head,” Mica says. “When you let go of the preconceived idea, you make room for other wonderful things.”

A dragon man with flowers, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Dragon Guy with Flowers
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Letting Go

One of Mica’s favorite collaborative drawings is “Sad Chrysalis.” Myla had drawn a spunky caterpillar body, flowing organically from the mysterious Kahlo-esque face. So full of life and spirit. A completed idea. Until . . . another vision took over and Myla picked up an orange marker and colored over the whole thing.

Woman in red chrysalis, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Sad Chrysalis
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

The perfectionist in Mica gasped and wondered, “What is she DOING?!” It didn’t need orange marker. It was done.

“It’s a chrysalis,” Myla stated matter-of-factly, as she finished off the protective pod.

A metamorphosis of art . . . and a lesson in letting go.

As for Myla’s favorite collaborative drawing, it’s whichever one she is working on.

A lesson in living in the moment.

Sea monster with pink arms, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Crying Sea Monster
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

Oh, I See

Collaborative projects are not a new idea. People paint together, write together, build things together, play together. But when your collaborative partner is a child, especially your own child, the world expands.

Mica Hendricks’ advice (as a mom and an artist):

  • Spend time with kids even if you’re not artistic. Make art supplies easily accessible. Let kids make a mess.
  • Share with them what you love most and let them be a part of it. Appreciate the special way kids see the world.
  • In a collaboration, don’t try too hard to make it something. Just enjoy seeing what it becomes.
  • Realize that A + B doesn’t always equal C. When you let go of preconceived ideas, the results can be wonderfully unpredictable.”

Creative expression fueled by the art of sharing.

Try it. You’ll like it.

pigtailed girl/goose with shovel, creative expression that shows the art of sharing and creative collaboration (Drawing © Mica and Myla Hendricks)

Doodle Goose
© Mica and Myla Hendricks

You can follow the collaborative sketchbook project on Mica Hendrick’s website and blog. See more drawings at Society6.

Comment on this post below, or inspire insight with your own OIC Moment here.

 

 

 

 
Comments:

2 thoughts on “1 Sketchbook + 2 Artists = The Art of Sharing

  1. You’re so right, Henrietta. Thank you. Just watching the creative process in a child is an inspiration in and of itself. We can all learn so much.

    Happy holidays!

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