Sometimes, I think I relate a little too much to the theme of Disney’s Zootopia. The song, performed by Shakira, is called “Try Everything.” I think it’s a great song, kind of the peppiest fight song you can imagine. If you don’t know the song, here are a few of the lyrics to give you a better picture:
I messed up tonight
I lost another fight
I still mess up but I’ll just start again
I keep falling down
I keep on hitting the ground
I always get up now to see what’s next
Birds don’t just fly
They fall down and get up
Nobody learns without getting it wrong
I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
Till I reach the end
And then I’ll start again
Though I’m on the lead
I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail
I enjoy being a person with a great many interests and a love of learning, even if it keeps me feeling like I’ll always be a student and never the master. I think it’s especially important as we grow older to hang on to a willingness to try, as well as a willingness to fail (though it certainly isn’t enjoyable when it happens). If we only take on challenges that we know we can easily accomplish, then we never get to see how far we can go. A hard race to run, for sure. But it’s a finish line worth aiming for.
Last year, I received a contract to design and illustrate a picture book–something I had never done before. Now, I’ve completed three total, the last of which I also wrote. I’m still amazed. And because of those opportunities, I felt brave enough to enter an art contest for the first time this year.
The SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) hosts a narrative art contest every year with the requirements of creating three images that tell a story without words. This year’s theme was “Misunderstood Monster” in honor of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was fun to create a mini-story, and after I finished these panels, I started thinking that I might try to expand this story of a little vampire girl who just wants to make friends into a picture book of my own…
I hope you’ll try something new this week. You don’t have to wait until the new year to give something a shot. And really, you don’t have to try everything, but maybe you’ll find one new thing to enjoy. You never know!