Toy Tech: Pass It On!


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Sketch of my daughter back in the day.

It was getting late and time to
go to bed, but instead I got the brilliant idea to go down stairs to shoot a
high resolution digital photo of my latest masterpiece using my beloved Canon
L-series lens (insert commercial endorsement here) and to my surprise I couldn’t
find half my equipment.

My tripod was gone and so were my
cords and other such things I behold as "my stuff." Then I realized
Sarah, my teenage daughter, has the tripod in her bedroom—she also has my old
set of paints, sketchbooks, brushes, etc.

So, I walked all the way up the
stairs to collect "my stuff" and then walked all the way back down
the stairs while the family dog ran circles around me perfecting the best
unseen circus act in the world.

Well, I finally got my gear into
place and took a seat to focus the camera when the dog suddenly decided that it
was just the right moment to sneeze all over me. I thought I was allergic to
her but it turns out she was allergic to me—isn’t life grand.

Long story short, I finally took
the camera shots and went back up stairs to download the files to see the results in Adobe Light Room (insert commercial endorsement here). Because of my
amazing camera skills (LOL) I had little to retouch and realized it was time to finally
go to bed. After moaning about all "my stuff" mixed in with
"Sarah's stuff" I realized how awesome that problem actually is.

I really can't put into words how
proud I am of my little girl. I have always tried to push my kids away from a
creative career so they fit into the “normal” world but she simply refused. She
consistently makes a choice every day to live outside the box. I tell her the
box is good but she refuses to conform to it. She is a true creative which she
will soon learn is both a blessing and a curse—and so the journey of discovery
begins.

It's really hard for me to paint or
draw people I love—it goes beyond the technique of light and shadow and
anatomical features so Sarah was no exception. I still remember holding her for
the first time thinking she'd break if I squeezed too hard. I remember her
chasing me around the house as we played hide-n-seek. I remember seeing her in
her Homecoming dress and was overcome by her beauty and charm. How do you
capture all of that with pencil and paper?

Anyway, with all that said I have to say I love my
daughter beyond words. She not only has taken captive the tripod but has also
taken captive her daddy's heart. When I look at her I see my wife in her eyes
and the love and hope we have both poured into her showing through in her
character.

I suppose, no matter how gray my hair becomes she will
always be my little girl. I look forward to meeting her future husband who is
somewhere right now growing into the man she will eventually fall in love with.
I can close my eyes and almost see her children running and playing with the
same joy and laughter she has filled our house with over the years.

One of the most integral and fascinating parts of our
profession as creative thinkers is that we not only leave behind toys with the world's coolest play patterns but also our creative energy—our techniques, teachings, ideas and
dreams that will one day change the world.

In a small way, my mentors live on through my work because
to this day I can still hear their words of wisdom guiding me. When you think
about it, we will all pass on parts of ourselves to those who follow us whether
we like it or not, and these attributes will eventually form the next
generation of toy dreamers and ideation schemers.

I think it’s good that we, from time to time, remember our
lives touch so many others like a pebble rippling in a pond. So, be careful who
you choose to be, because your today effects their tomorrow.

Even though Sarah has outgrown her old toys at the ripe old age of sixteen, I still keep some
of them in my office at work because they hold so many memories. No matter what
she will achieve as a designer, mother, wife and daughter, I know she will
always be my baby girl and that my stuff is now and always will be her stuff.

Pass it on!


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