Meet Alison: a young and talented children’s author and illustrator.
Alison draws and paints beautiful pictures that inspire the imagination to dream.
When someone has both the gifts of joy and creativity it’s really a refreshing combination. It’s also, quite thankfully, contagious.
Recently I was in a discouraged writing slump. You know that sort of a thing that leaves you feeling like Eeyore the Old Grey Donkey. Or Oscar the Grouch. It’s as though every bit of happy inspiration just up and departed and took the party with itself and left nothing short of a mess. It’s at that point that fifty other necessary things come up and you presently don’t have time to write. Really though it’s an excuse, and we all know it.
I'm so glad I could call Alison.
Alison and I decided to plan a work day. We devised a scheme that would provide us a time expressly set aside for us both to work on projects. We could get together, have brunch, and then sit out on the porch and bring things from our minds' eyes out onto paper and keyboard.
When she got out of her car, she carried an unusual piece of furniture with her: a small vintage sewing footstool of sorts. It was simple but cute on the outside. When she opened it though, the colors spilled out into the room. She told me her grandmother had given it to her. Now she uses it to keep her art supplies in.
One thing I really love about Alison is that she always reminds me, without even having to say anything at all, that genuine beauty shines through naturally when you simply remain true to who you are. Alison doesn’t try to be anybody else. Surely that is freedom.
Alison carries with her a spirit of freedom so evident and obvious that you can’t be around her for less than 5 minutes before you pick up on it. Indeed a spirit of freedom will inevitably foster a spirit of creativity and innovation. This principle is as predictable and sure as the law of gravity. It’s no surprise then that this sweet girl is full of creative ideas and skilled in art. I know you could ask her about this herself and she would tell you, but just in case you were wondering where that spirit of freedom comes from, I’m going to go ahead and tell you. “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” –II Cor. 3:17. I can also tell you that Christ himself made arrangements for this freedom to be accessible to all simply because of His desire that everyone be free.
Alison also reminds me that things don’t have to be perfect. She reminds me that it’s okay if it’s messy; and that it’s okay to make a mess in the process. “The worst that you could have is a beginning,” she once told me. Those words have given me courage to step out and try on more than one occasion.
Once we settled in out on the porch, Alison had a great idea: “Sometimes I like to read something before I start, just to get my creativity going.” In response, I introduced her to James Herriot. And then I read her an episode of Winnie the Pooh, “In Which Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water.” Her paintbrush came to life in front of me as I read. Finally, I went off to my own corner of the porch to face the truth with my computer.
A couple of hours flew by before either of us had any idea what had happened. Colors were all over on Alison’s table, and I had written the completion of a short story that had previously been laughing at me to dare even try finishing it.
Alison has not only encouraged me as a writer, but she has also inspired and influenced my writings and helped me to draw out imagination in stories that I didn't even know were down there. I am honored to call her a friend.
So what are the two of us working on here at Daffodil Acres? Well, you just never know...