Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pencils, Paper and Pixie Dust

I just have to share this personal story. I’ve shared before how my husband had an accident and was declared brain dead. The accident happened 13 years ago January 31st. I’m going to focus on what helped him recover from the brain damage he suffered. It is another part of Disney Magic that we could have at home.
When Scott was released from the hospital the doctors told me I needed to find a creative outlet for Scott. He needed something that would be enjoyable for him to do so he would joyfully participate. He also needed something to work his hands and keep his brain active with learning. Now Scott had always done woodworking but that was not a good option. He still did not have enough hand control to safely use power tools, well less safe than he was before and he did not have the physical strength or energy to make things with wood. Poetry and short stories were always things he did and still does but with the injury words sometimes escaped him, were clumsy and totally frustrating to him. So word craft would not work and it did nothing for the physical side of the rehab he needed.
Scott had always dreamed of learning to draw. He had tried many times before and even his stick figures were uninteresting. In fact it is kind to say his drawings were as good as kindergarteners’ crayon in clenched fist first attempts at art. (His words not mine! Don’t be mad at me or think I’m unkind. LOL) I kind of half joked with the doctors and physical therapists about getting him drawing supplies. They did not think it funny. They thought it was inspired! So off I went and got him a set of good pencils and a quality sketch pad. I also picked up a book on the line of Drawing for Dummies. I also picked up some Disney coloring books with Scott’s favorite Disney characters to use as reference. This turned out to be a very wise move as he kept asking, “What should I draw?” Scott loves the human form and thinks the feminine form is the most beautiful of God’s creation. Tinker Bell and Ariel are his favorites and he also loves to draw fairies and mermaids of his own making. Within a few months his pictures were very respectable and he became even more excited about drawing. I also started to draw as something we could do together. Our daughter also joined in and drew pictures.

By Scott Hoagland
When we go to Disneyland we bring drawing pads and pencils and usually take some time to sit and draw while waiting for a show or ride. Sometimes we draw buildings and such around the park and sometimes we pull out one of our coloring books for reverence and draw a character. Sometimes we will stop in at one of two places at the Disneyland Resort where they have artists drawing Disney Characters. We stop and talk to the CM doing the drawing and share what we have done. They always encourage us to keep developing our skill.
Sometimes, while sitting and drawing other guests will come over to watch us draw. Within a couple of months of the accident we were taking a break sitting at the Corner Café and drawing. A guest came over and asked to purchase one of Scott’s drawings! People still occasional ask if we work for Disney or if we sell our drawings. We say no to both questions. Our drawings are for ourselves or done as gifts. To sell them would be a copyright infringement but giving them as gifts is totally acceptable. We find it helps us stop and relax when the park gets too overwhelming.

By Scott Hoagland
Scott and I don’t get the time to draw as much as we would like to but it is still something we enjoy and we hope to do more of soon. Once again Disney Magic and Pixie Dust had given encouragement that lead to healing and joy.
Self portrait by Carolyn Hoagland

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