A passion for castles and the arts started when I was young, very young…when in third grade I was awarded for designing a clay pot I made at Mill Ridge School in Danbury, Connecticut. Even before this, tinker toys and wooden blocks, to growing up in a bake shop (literally) and living in my grandmother’s house with a greenhouse attached to it for year round gardening, which was her passion, I’ve always been surrounded by things that forced me to use the creative side of my mind. My incredible mom recently shared some of my old artwork from way back then, which I created when home with her at her bakery, Heidi’s Cake and Cookie Shop in Danbury Connecticut. It all started to add up why I’m so passionate about Create A Castle!
I used to draw intricate castles for hours at a time, with a fellow artist friend that I went to grammar school with and we would come up with new ideas to how to expand on our awesome drawings of castles or combine different parts of each others castles to make them battle ready. I re-discovered some of the drawings my mother shared with me not long ago and realized that this venture didn’t happen by chance. Some of the sand castles that I now create resemble some of the drawings that I used to whip up with my friend all those years ago! From the roof lines to the battlements, to windows, subconsously I was re-creating those drawings from all those years ago! It’s like the artist in me as a child was re-born by a new method. Instead of paper and pencils, the new medium is sculpting the sand and snow to have something physical to appear before my eyes.
Looking back I realize now how important the arts were and still are in my life and how overjoyed I am that my mother saw this ability in me as a young child and managed to have me harness it as my outlet. We didn’t have a whole lot back then, but she always found the means to buy me these incredible books by Lee J. Ames named Draw 50. Of course, knowing my passion for buildings and castles and drawing in general, the very first book that she bought me was was Draw 50 Buildings and Other Structures. I was about 10 years old and I was awestruck when I saw what he did in his books! He literally broke the drawings down step by step, starting with a few lines, all the way up to the finished drawing, pure genius! I now tapped into a tried and true method of drawing a skeleton and building upon that all the way up to a finished drawing, something that could be memorized.
One of my favorite quotes from this book is hidden away on a lonely page by itself in the preface. It reads….
“Mimicry is a prerequisite for developing creativity. We learn the use of our tools by mimicry. To this end I would offer the building artist to memorize or mimic (rote-like, if you wish) the making of “pictures.” “Pictures” he has been anxious to draw.
The use of this book should be available to anyone who wants to try another way of flapping his wings. Perhaps he will then get off the ground when his friend says, “David can draw a building better than anyone else!”
Lee J. Ames
Reading this quote from this Lee J. Ames’ Draw 50 book made me realize that it’s our turn to share the tools of how to become that artist! Even though it’s on the beach or in the snow, it’s still allowing others to become that artist or sculptor that everyone wants to be and doing so step by step, by “mimicry”.
What’s amazing is that all of the things that I had stashed away from all of those years ago are now being applied in a different medium, the medium of sand and snow. We are sharing the tools to give anyone the ability to be “David” on the beach, literally in minutes. To create a conversation piece with family and friends and those just passing by, to make those fragments of life that we all share with our families and friends while on the beach just a little bit more memorable. That’s our goal.
I guess I should be thanking Lee J. Ames for his incredible view into the world of drawing and how to look and how to approach drawing differently. However, I think the real thanks should go to my mom who found these incredible books (I still have all of the originals) when I was just a kid and who pushed me to become the artist I always wanted to be. To be the “David” in the group and look at the world a little bit differently. So thanks Mom, for allowing me “another way of flapping my wings!”