An Aching

It is not a secret how unmotivated I have been these several years to paint or draw with much gusto like I used to. Whatever painting I may have done, whatever sketches I may have produced presently were all created either out of languid ennui or as a sample demonstration to my students in Art class. In other words, whatever so-called ‘Art’ I may have composed of late would not really be considered a work of art — that is, they usually end up in the garbage bin.

Sadly enough, the interests in painting, too, had gone like ‘dust in the wind,’ as Kansas had put it. Sure, I can let my imagination run wild when I’m with my students, but that is not so when on my own. My pencil weeps in neglect, my pens dry up in anguish, and my brushes wither in vain expectation that I shall ever pick them up again and paint like old times. As emo as that may sound, I’m sure you get the picture.

From time to time, a smidgen of inspiration would come and excite me, but as soon as it came, the sooner it goes and I return to my languor with quiet complacence.

Until I found these…

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Such beauties, aren’t they?

Ever since I took over teaching ESL for our After-School program, I have been on the constant look-out for fun activities to do with my students. In one of my weekly visits to the bookstore, I browsed through the many wonderful books and resources geared towards children when my eyes fell upon what seems to be a book but was instead a box. I opened up one of these and discovered to my greatest awe a box full of magnificently illustrated cards and I knew right away what they were for. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for!

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These are Storyworld cards which aims to help the young story-teller set up characters, settings, plots and endings, and will help the child learn to organize sequence of events, expand vocabulary, listen, speak and imagine! It is the perfect ESL tool for me.

Not only did it serve one specific purpose for me professionally, it managed to stir an aching in my soul to draw, to paint, to create similarly breathtaking images such as these. The more I studied the details of the cards, the more the aching swelled. Yes, these are precisely the kinds of ideas or subjects I have always wanted to explore and represent on paper. The merging of literacy and art; Imagination and aesthetics; Story-telling and visual imagery.

I was so inspired by it that  I was compelled to take out my Moleskin and Staedler mechanical pencil and began drawing again (for now, it is just a rough sketch). The concept of these cards and the vision behind it is brilliant! I applaud the creators of this idea. It is a marriage of the two things I love the most — Art and Literature. The artists who contributed to the illustration of these cards were also phenomenal! Each card was done with great care and thought, with mastery and jaw-dropping detail, such that would intrigue a child and entice one to weave magical stories.

Not content with one,  I bought 2 more sets, one of which I use for my ESL class (called “StoryWorld: Tales from the Haunted House: Create-A-Story Kit,” which the students love and even got the quiet ones talking), while the other two serves as ‘collectible’ Art items for me (shown in first photo The Storyworld Box: Create-A-Story Kit and StoryWorld: Quests and Adventures: Create-A-Story) and are purely for my own marveling pleasure!

As an education tool or artistic and literary inspiration, I highly recommend these. Your children will love it!

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