Sunday, May 4, 2008

Artist or a Copy Cat?

This morning I was on Skype with my brother and his family in India. Engaging my 6-year niece in a conversation, I showed her (webcasted) a sketch of a handsoap bottle I had drawn recently. Last time I was in India, my niece and I spent quite some time sketching together. It had helped the 'bonding'; it also helped her on her homework. She continues to display a healthy interest in coloring assignments and drawing which, if she continues, will hopefully also continue forging the common ground between us.

Today, on Skype, holding my sketchbook close to the webcam, I asked her:
Can you see the drawing?"
"What do you see?"
A pause. Then,
"A spray"
(I held back my urge to correct her right now.)
"But it is a copycat," she added.
"Chachaji" - she was refering to me - "is a copycat. Last time he copied my bicycle. Now he copied the drawing from a bottle. Chachaji is a copycat.
I have been scratching my head since then. Does sketching an object mean that I am 'copying' it in my sketch? And as one who sketches, am I a copy cat?

Was my niece just being a precocious kid or was she calling attention to the Emperor's clothes?

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