Drawing inspiration from my interactions with my son Noah, this is Inspired Illustration project #13, “Michael Jackson’s.”

The other day when we were out, Noah said “I want to go to Michael Jackson’s.” Des and I look at each other a little puzzled not knowing what he’s talking about so I asked him, “Where is Michael Jackson’s?” He said “it’s that place we went the other day when I got chicken remember?” The other day we went to Jack In The Box. I got the connection. He was calling it Michael Jackson’s. I love it! Of course we didn’t correct him because he’ll get it on his own. He’s a super quick learner but a trigger word will get him mixed up sometimes and he’ll connect things that aren’t at all related . The word was “Jack, as in Jackson.” The connection was made and he ran with it. If you’ve ever been around a 3 year old, you know this happens often as they are learning. Whenever Noah does this, my mind also goes racing to visualize the connection he’s made. So this is Michael working the drive thru in his own fast food joint. Interestingly, whenever Noah hears a Michael Jackson song come on, we ask him who’s singing and his reply is always, “Captain EO.” As a little bonus, he calls the golden arches “Uncle McDonald’s.” These are drawings for another time though.

Michael Jackson's-sm

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Inspired Illustration project #13, “Michael Jackson’s.”

The other day my son Noah was playing with a new Batman toy he got. I told him how awesome it was because it had an articulating cape. I asked him if I could have it; it was a little test of his character. Of course he said no. I then told him I would give him $100 for it. Again he said no. So then I asked if I could have it if I bought him a donut. He then said, “OK dad” and he gave it to me. I them told him “Wow Noah thank you so much for being willing to give me your toy but I was just joking, you can have it back. We’ll just share it and play when we get home.” Almost immediately after, I saw a sadness come over him and he began to cry a little. I asked what was wrong. He said I don’t like Batman anymore. It was in that moment that I realized that he was having a crisis in his own little heart. He didn’t like Batman anymore when I gave it back to him because he was certain it meant he wouldn’t get a donut because that’s what the deal was. He gave up the toy for that donut but also was devastated to lose the toy. He really wanted both. After I figured out what was going on, I explained to him that we were very proud of his decision to share with me and I helped him sort through what had just happened. What started out as a joke on my part, ended up being a real test for my son and got me a little emotional too. After this, we hugged and 7eleven was down 1 chocolate donut that night. I told him he could eat half because it was late so he did; he ate the top half! Just as he is learning something new every day about life, I’m learning about his.

Inspired Illustration Project #12, “BATMAN.”

Inspired Illustration Project #7, “The Future.”

Inspired Illustration Project #7, “The Future.”

As a kid I was equally inspired and transfixed by the character of Willy Wonka. How could you not love Gene Wilder’s performance of this mad character. I always loved Wonka’s obsession to his craft and the story of finding a worthy successor. In this illustration, Wonka’s at the start of his career, delivering confectionaries from a cart and looking to the future.

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