Your Art Should Make You Smile

I’m not sure if the drawing you’re looking at here will make you smile or not. It might make you laugh, and that’s all right. I haven’t given it a name, but I like to think of it as a happier version of my “Exploding Brain Boy” from Inktober 2018. Those are his brains, you see, sitting atop his head like some crazy coonskin cap.

But, of course, my simple, childish drawing here is not meant to be too “artistic”. It was meant to be fun, and it was. For me, it’s important to find ways of making drawing a fun activity — not only for me, but for the young ones in our family.


After discovering “Createures” and “Ready, Set, Draw!“, I’ve become quite a fan of family drawing games. I love all sorts of board games and card games, and the grandsons love playing Masterpiece” — but I think they’re enjoying the imaginative “active” games even more.

There are no winners and losers — and with children this can be an important thing. Neither are there any strict rules to be followed. That’s a huge plus, in my opinion. These art games allow you to choose how you want to play.

So, I’ve been browsing around — mostly at Amazon, but at a few other places as well, and I’ve come across a new addition to our games collection. It’s “SketchaMoley!”

If you think it looks a bit similar to the “Createures” game, you’re right. It’s created by the same company. In some ways, SketchaMoley is a bit easier, I think, but the concept is the same: taking random elements and combining them into a single drawing.

This is designed to be a family-participation activity with players passing their drawings around so that everyone adds to each drawing. But that, of course, is not the only way you can play. You can also go solo and create a drawing, such as the “Shark Wizard Playing Soccer” that the game’s creator makes in this video:

By the way, you’ll notice that this is a “pocket-size” game. Yep, small enough you can fit it into a pocket or purse and take it with you wherever you go — which makes it great for outings with the kids or grandkids.

What’s the point here? Well, mostly it’s all about having fun. It’s about playing with art. It’s about using imagination to come up with something that doesn’t really exist. As the video points out, you can’t look around and draw from any references!

When the game arrived, of course I wanted to try it out. Now, here’s the one thing I don’t like about SketchaMoley. The directions don’t make any sense to me! I’ve read them through several times, and I’ve simply dispensed with them altogether. Because there aren’t any “real rules”, you can’t really come up with a real set of instructions, either, I guess.

What I chose to do — drawing solo — was to take three different “card wheels”. I chose one word from the first — “brain” — and then moved on to the second. From this I chose “missing tooth”. From the third I chose “eyebrows”. This led to my boy-with-brain-on-his-head drawing.

If you look closely at the wheels, you’ll see the other possibilities I could have chosen.

From the 1st Wheel

  • Brain
  • Virus
  • Nerd
  • Butt
  • Sharp Teeth
  • Plunger

From the 2nd Wheel

  • Missing Tooth
  • Ice Cube
  • Recycle Bin
  • Bank Vault
  • Corn
  • Disco Ball

From the 3rd Wheel

  • Eyebrows
  • Nut Cracker
  • Robot
  • Hang Glider
  • Eiffel Tower
  • T-Rex Arms

Maybe I should have put together a “Robotic Plunger in a Recycle Bin” or a “Nerd with a Disco Ball Hanging From the Eiffel Tower”. I guess I took the easy route — a brain atop a head, a face with eyebrows, a mouth with a missing tooth.

Another comment in the video above is this: Your art should make you smile. Oh, how those words resonated with me. I love it when my art makes me smile. My recent little “spring tulips” watercolor made me smile. As I look through old drawings and paintings, many of them make me smile — not because they’re exceptionally good art, but because they’re bright, they’re cheerful, they’re happy.

Art makes me smile when I feel I’ve created something pleasing, when I’ve made something amusing, when I’ve had fun. I think this is so very important to me because as a child, art was never fun. I’ve always looked for ways to make art — and drawing, especially — fun for children, and this game, despite its hard-to-follow instructions, can definitely do that.

For just a bit more fun, I went back and added a bit of watercolor to my “brain-boy”.


Now, I’m going to challenge you! Choose one word from each of the “wheels” I’ve listed above and create your own drawing. Use any medium you wish, make it colored, or black-and-white. Do whatever makes you smile. Have fun. E-mail your drawing(s) to me at with subject: ART SHOULD MAKE YOU SMILE. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!




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