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May 4 - Superhero Drawing Studio

HYPOTHESIS: If we let my youngest son design his own clothes, he'll want to wear them.

Let me explain that a bit further: I have two sons who are both great, but very different from each other. Zephyr, my oldest, is a very snazzy dresser who loves to wear stylish clothes. He likes wearing a tie, for example, and he always has. Lyric, my youngest, not so much. He fights me constantly when we get dressed in the morning, refusing to wear lots of clothes we have for him (many of which are hand-me-downs from Zephyr). Where Zephyr likes fancy things, Lyric likes superhero clothing, and will (as another example) wear a mask and cape for a shockingly long period of time.

The other day as I was getting Lyric dressed in something fancy, he told me "I just don't like wearing fancy things". I asked him why not, and he said, "I don't know... I was just born that way". I'm not sure if he knew how affecting that answer was to me, but it really got me thinking. I want Lyric to be happy being who he thinks he is, and I want him to feel comfortable being the person he feels like he should be. I don't want to impose my own idea of who he should be onto him, I want him to come to be the person he feels like he's meant to be.  As a dad, of course I'm going to shape him in certain ways, but I feel like it's my job as a dad to not just raise kids to be what I want them to be, but to raise kids to be the best possible version of who they actually are. So I decided I'd try to work with him to make some new superhero clothes based on superheroes he makes up.

The first step would be to draw out the designs for the costumes, which is why I scheduled this very special episode of Superhero Drawing Studio.

PROCEDURE: We talked this morning about which made up superheroes we wanted to draw... Zephyr made up an alien named Zemore on the spot, and Lyric said he wanted to make a drawing of Crocodile man, a superhero he's made up before. I took a piece of paper and gave one to Zephyr, and drew an outline for Lyric so we could talk about how the costume would be designed.

Lyric said he wanted two crocodiles in the middle, and we looked up crocodiles on our iPad as a reference. I started sketching based on his instructions, trying to place how he wanted the crocodiles to look. He wanted two crocodiles but also wanted a symbol in the middle like Batman, so I came up with a way to make the interior circle formed by the negative space of the crocodiles:

And then from there it was about figuring out the color patterns. Again, I did the coloring here, letting Lyric act as the foreman... his drawing skill is coming along nicely, but this time I wanted to concentrate on him ideating more than using fine motor skills.

And of course while we were busy doing that, Zephyr was going to town making his drawing:

So that was phase one. Today I went to American Apparel and my local fabric store to get shirts and felt and fabric markers, and tomorrow we'll start constructing some new costumes. Stay tuned!