Monday, March 19, 2012

Pencils, Paper and Pixie Dust


Pencils, Paper and Pixie Dust

I want to re-share this personal story. I’ve shared before about how my husband had an accident and was declared brain dead. The accident happened 14 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 have at home and yet another way the magic of Disney has touched our lives.

Scott had been accidently electrocuted and was in full arrest (no heartbeat or breathing on his own) for 45 minutes. He had been in a coma for 36 hours and when they took him off life support to let him die he woke up instead. This was a great shock to the medical staff! Six days after the accident he was released from the hospital. Thirty days after the accident he was back working at his regular job. He was physically weak but able to do the job.

Before Scott was released from the hospital the doctors told me I needed to find a creative outlet for Scott. He needed something to work his hands and help his brain regain fine motor control of his hands. He needed something that would be enjoyable for him to do so he would joyfully participate. 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, and he did not have the physical strength or energy to return to woodcraft. 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. Writing would not work the fine motor control he needed so badly.

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 not 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.

When I gave Scott the supplies his response, “What should I draw?” Scott loves the human form and thinks the feminine form is the most beautiful of God’s creation. He was a long way away from drawing the human form. I had grabbed some Disney coloring books along with Drawing for Dummies. This turned out to be inspired (or guided by God) thing to do. He loves Tinker Bell and Ariel and these are what I had picked up. He used the coloring books as places to get ideas and as a thing to work at hand copying. Now he draws them along with other Disney characters, 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 the fun and drew pictures.

By Scott Hoagland

When we go to Disneyland we often bring drawing pads and pencils and usually take some time to sit and draw while waiting for a show or ride. Sometimes we attempt to draw the buildings and such around the park and sometimes we pull out one of our coloring books, or pick up a new one at the park for reverence and draw a character. Sometimes we will stop in at one of 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. We ask them how to improve our drawing. 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 starts to get too overwhelming.


By Scott Hoagland

Learning how to draw helped my husband regain most of the fine motor control he lost in his hands from the accident. It also helped rebuild his self-confidence. It reminds him even with some minor brain and nerve damage he can still learn and grow. Drawing Disney characters allows him to do something Disney at home when we are away from the parks.

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


4 comments:

  1. Lovely. The story and the drawings. God provides for us all in the most amazing ways.

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  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  3. No I don't have guest writers and have no plans for any. I write all my blog posts personally.

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