Friday Two Cents: The Simplicity Of Play


 

This past week I return home after a wonderful time with friends up north in the Penetanguishene/Midland area. We did a lot of different activities in the area including swimming, sight-seeing and taking in some local festivities. One of the highlights of my time there was going to Discovery Harbour. It is a British naval base that traces it roots back to the War of 1812. The base was established around 1828 and was a presence to defend Canada until the 1850’s.

We were able to go twice to the site during this trip. Once for a Ghost Tour and the other for a Pirate Day. The Ghost Tour was very interesting and it did give me the shivers at times. I think I even saw a sign a ghost who did not want us in his cabin, spooky. The other time was a fun-filled day where pirates invaded the site. Pirate Day at Discovery Harbour was mostly geared towards the kids but I took the opportunity to have a little fun and live a little. I decided to bring up my pirate costume and walk around the site as Captain Jack Sparrow.
I dressed up and went to the site in full costume. To say I got a lot of looks is an understatement. When the kids saw me their eyes opened up and even their parents smiled. The staff was all dressed in pirate gear and they too smiled and encouraged me to play the pirate for the day. I walked around the site learning a few things about the history of Discovery Harbour, stopping once in a while to talk to people and some even asked if they could take a picture with me. I said sure and so I posed for pictures and I got to meet and talk to a lot of people. All in all it was fun to play pirate and learn some facts about the site. Yet I did notice something that made me pause for a moment or two.
While I was walking around as a pirate talking to people, I noticed some people giving me a few, what I would call; nasty looks. It was not as if I was being obnoxious or over selling the pirate theme, in contrast I was simply walking for one building to the next with my friends. Maybe, it was because I was an adult dressed as a pirate without kids. There were some other adults dressed up but they had kids with them. Perhaps they could not understand why a grown man would dress up and pretend or in essence play pirate.
I am not sure why but if that was the case all I can say is that I feel sorry for those people. I am very comfortable being myself and being very connected with my inner child. If those people cannot understand that we all need to play, then I all I can do is pity them and I’ll give them a couple of quotes / life lessons to help them. One from a famous philosopher, the other from a famous captain …

‘You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.’ Plato

‘The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.’ Captain Kirk

Two life lessons I always take to heart. Maybe we all should too.

 

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Art Inspiration: Staff Cartoons A Pirate’s Life For Me: Male Pirate Crew 02 ‘The Captain’


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   Inspiration. Something every artist needs and is illusive as the Lock Ness Monster. Many people have told me that I inspire the children and people in general with what I do. Whether creating art, playing baseball or trying to improve my life people say that I have inspired others to try new things and look inside themselves. I have always found this interesting because I get my inspiration from these very people. Whether it be a child asking me about Mythology or adults asking me about their children or even just talking to people about anything, they have inspire me to create and use my imagination to bring the impossible possible.

A prime example is when I draw the staff at my school as cartoon characters or caricatures. It started one year around Christmas when we have our Christmas concert and staff dinner. Always after the concert, we go out for dinner and we exchange gifts, such as a Chris Kringle. I wanted to liven things up and instead of giving Christmas cards, I decided to create my own with the staff members as a caricature.

This year the inspiration for the caricatures came from the children’s concert. We were doing a Pirates Christmas and at the same time Pirates of the Caribbean was out. Also for Halloween I dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow and everyone loved the costume. It made me imagine, what would it be like if the staff where all pirates? From these simple beginnings I decided to draw all the staff as pirate caricatures.

Well the staff loved the cards and caricatures and in the next few weeks I will be posting a few of the characters from the cards because these people inspired me to create these characters. Hopefully they can spur imagination and inspire others.

Male Pirate Crew 02  ‘The Captain’              

The last caricature of “A Pirate’s Life For Me.” is me. After doing all the other staff I had to create one of myself for the final portrait and I was eager because I had this caricature in mind for some time. This was the easiest to envision because I had already dressed like this caricature for Halloween, Captain Jack Sparrow.

I did not only dress like Jack Sparrow, I used his inflections and gestures to really bring the character to life. I walked around the school like Jack and everyone had a big smile when I talked or walked by. The costume was a big success and I wanted the caricature to have the same effect.

I began with the face, hair and hat. I had grown a beard and mustache for the costume and I had a few pictures of me to go by (I had shaved them off after Halloween). The clothes were simple enough to give that pirate look, I made sure that the jacket was a bit free-flowing to give a wind surf look. I added the boots with the over lapping cuffs as well with the jacket. The last touches were the beadwork in the hair, beard and hat. Lastly I added a sash to give a wind-swept look to the jacket and caricature. And that’s it.  If you have read my story “The Captain and the Baroness”  we will recognize this caricature from that story.  It was the inspiration for the look of the original Captain.  

The staff enjoyed it and were not surprised by the look of my caricature because of the costume I wore. Some commented that it was the perfect character for me. A rouge with a conscience, or a pirate with a heart. I hope you too will enjoy the tenth and final pirate caricature ‘The Captain’ from “A Pirate’s Life For Me.”

 

However watch out for the final portrait that will come out soon.

Art Inspiration: A Pirate's Life For Me: Male Pirate   02 'The Captain'

Art Inspiration: A Pirate’s Life For Me: Male Pirate 02 ‘The Captain’

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