My Little Art Director Strikes Back Again


Daffodil: “Papa, draw me a picture.”

Me: “What are we drawing?”

Daffodil: “Me washing and taking care of a dog.”

Me: “You washing and taking care of a dog?”

Daffodil: “No! Me watching a dog!”

Me: “Watching a dog? Like, with your eyeballs?”

Daffodil: “NO! Washing! Washing! WASHING!”

Me: “Like with a scrub brush in a tub?”

Daffodil: “YES! WASHING A DOG!”

Me: “That’s what I said the first time.”

Daffodil: “Wait, I have to draw this first…” (Takes pencil, puts two crossed lines across paper.)

Me: “What is this?”

Daffodil: “For the pictures. Little pictures. First, me washing the dog.”

Me: “What, four pictures? You’re a lot of trouble.”

Daffodil: “Just draw it.”

Daffodil: “What is that? A bathtub?”

Me: “No, just a wash tub. You’re washing the dog outside.”

Daffodil: “Can’t dogs just get in the bathtub?”

Me: “Sure, but they splash a lot of water in the house.”

Daffodil: “Oh, okay. Is that Sarah?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s our dog.”

Daffodil: “She doesn’t look that happy.”

Me: “She doesn’t like baths.”

Daffodil: “Okay, now I’m feeding her. Feeding her dog food.”

Me: “Okay. Like that?”

Daffodil: “That’s okay. Now she’s taking a nap.”

Me: “Alright.”

Daffodil: “Do dogs need pillows?”

Me: “Not really, but they like them. When they were wild animals they just lay on the ground, or on piles of leaves and stuff. But they like pillows.”

Daffodil: “Now in this one we’re playing.”

Me: “What kind of playing?”

Daffodil: “You know, running around. She chases a stick and brings it back to me.”

Me: (Sarah does not fetch) “Okay.”

Daffodil: “It’s lovely…”

Dog Watch


The Return of My Little Art Director Rides Again

The Return of MLAD Rides Again

Daffodil: “Papa, draw me a picture.”

Me: “Okay. What are we drawing?”

Daffodil: “I’m riding a mouse-dinosaur.”

(This refers to another sketch I did (see header), the name comes from the Mickey Mouse-ear crest on the dino. Note: All these sketches are done without reference in a couple of minutes. Cut me some slack.)

Me: “Alright…”

Daffodil: “I’m racing. We’re going really fast!”

Me: “Alright…”

Daffodil: “What is THAT?”

Me: “Just wait a minute…”

Daffodil: “Oh, okay, that’s the dinosaur. Where am I?”

Me: “Patience…”

Daffodil: “Jezirae is coming up behind me on her dino!”

Me: “Alright….”

Daffodil: “Oh, is that me? Okay… Jezirae is catching up, but my dino is faster! I’m winning!”

Me: “What kind of dinosaur is Jezirae riding?”

Daffodil: “A mouse-dinosaur. Just like mine, but hers is slower.”

Me: “Alright…. if hers is slower, why is she catching up?”

Daffodil: “I don’t know! I’m winning!”

Me: “Okay. Like that?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. Here, let me finish it.”

Daffodil: “See, I already crossed the finish line.”

Dino Race

The Return of My Little Art Director


Daffodil: “Papa, draw me a picture.”

Me: “I’m pretty tired. How about I rest for a little bit and then draw you a picture?”

Daffodil: “Okay. You’re sick. I’m sick too, but I have lots of energy anyway.”

Me: “I’ve noticed.”

Daffodil (putting a baby blanket over me): “There. How’s that?”

Me: “That’s very nice, thank you.”

Daffodil makes up a song whose words I cannot understand and sings it.

Daffodil: “Did you like my song?”

Me: “Yes, that was beautiful.”

Daffodil: “It was very restful, wasn’t it?”

Me: ” ”

Daffodil: “Are you ready to draw my picture now?”

Me: “It would be nice to get a little more rest.”

Daffodil: “Do you need another blanket?”

Me: “No, that’s alright. One is fine.”

Daffodil puts another baby blanket on me.

Me: “Thank you. That’s enough. Just let me rest for a few minutes.”

Daffodil climbs over me onto the bed, kneeing me in the gut.

Daffodil: “I’ll rest with you.” She curls up beside me, holding my arm.

Daffodil: “It’s a picture of a Princess.”

Me (sighing): “What is the Princess doing?”

Daffodil: “I don’t know. You decide.”

Me: “Okay. After I rest.”

Daffodil: “Are you ready to draw my picture yet?”
Me: “Pretty soon. Let’s just have a bit of quiet time.”

Daffodil (whispering in my ear): “Okay. Are you ready to draw my picture yet?”

Me: “Does it matter? Okay, get off my arm, I’ll get up and draw your picture.”

I sit down at the table and start to draw.

Daffodil (looking over my shoulder): “What is that? That doesn’t look like a Princess.”

Me: “Just wait a minute.”

Daffodil: “Is it a dog? It doesn’t look like a dog. Oh, it has scales.”

Me: “Yes. It’s a dragon.”

Daffodil: “It looks like a cow.”

Me: “It’s a cow-dragon. They’re very fierce.”
Daffodil: “It’s supposed to be a Princess, remember?”

Me: “Just wait a minute.”

Daffodil: “Oh, she’s sitting on the cow-dragon. The cow-dragon is a girl, right?”

Me: “If you say so.”

Daffodil: “She’s a girl. And the Princess is sitting on her. Is that me?”

Me: “Yeth.”

Art direction010

My Little Art Director Returns


Broom Dog

Sarah is our Great Dane. Or Not-So-Great Dane. At 80 lbs, she’s miniscule. Sometimes I call her my Tea Cup Dane. Like most Danes, she’s not good for much but cuddling, and Sarah is not even very good at that, having issues with feet and spooning and hugging, and having one utterance for every occasion, a noise that might be either a purr or a growl, but doesn’t have much of any relationship to what’s going on at the moment. She can be pressing her neck against my hand so I’ll rub it harder, and making this noise. Or discussing a foot too close to her tail, which in a moment will cause her to leap up and seek the shelter of her own bed.

Her only real talent seems to be shedding, which she does, regardless of season, at the pace of a much larger dog with a much vaster surface area. Every day she provides enough loose hair to cover two Sphynx Cats and a Naked Mole Rat. Naturally, this is a regular topic of conversation between Daffodil and myself, but today Princess D came up with a brilliant solution that may foreshadow a career in genetic engineering. I drew it up for her, and wrote down her text. It pretty much speaks for itself.

Art direction021

On The Trail of My Little Art Director


Daffodil: “Jezirae (sp?) laughed at me.”

Me: “Why did she do that?”

Daffodil: “I told her, ‘NO! Don’t step there! You’re hurting it!'”

Me: “What was she hurting?”

Daffodil: “She said there was nothing there!”

Me: “What was she hurting?”

Daffodil: “I said, ‘NO! You’re stepping right on it!'”

Me: “What was she hurting?”

Daffodil: “She was hurting my Magination!”

Me: “Your what?”

Daffodil: “My Magination! She said there was nothing there, but my Magination was right there in front of her!”

Me: “Well, not everyone sees the same things.”

Daffodil: “I know. Nobody sees my Magination but me.”

Me: “What does your Magination look like?”

Daffodil: “You should draw a picture of it.”

Me: “Well, okay, but I don’t know what it looks like. You’ll have to describe it for me.”

Daffodil: “Okay. It’s about this big- (medium sized dog gestures) and it has scales.”

Me: “What does its head look like?”

Daffodil: “Well, kind of big, like this. It has a mouth, and big eyes.”

Me: “Is it like a snake head?”

Daffodil: “Maybe a little. It doesn’t have ears. It has ears. Just not on the outside.”

Me: “Does it have fangs?”

Daffodil: “No fangs. It’s nice. It has regular teeth.”

Me: “Like that?”

Daffodil: “Well… ”

Me: “What kind of legs does it have?”

Daffodil: “It doesn’t have any legs.”

Me: “So it’s kind of like a snake? A big fat snake?”

Daffodil: “No! It has feet. But no legs.”

Me: “Um… okay… how many feet does it have?”

Daffodil: “Four, of course.”

Me: “So, what kind of feet does it have?”

Daffodil: “Big. Thick. (makes round shapes). Like a lelef…. like a lefuh…”

Me: “Like an elephant?”

Daffodil: “Sort of. But not really.”

Me: (drawing elephant feet anyway) “Like this?”

Daffodil: “No toenails!”

Me: “Too late.”

Daffodil: “It’s in a tub.”

Me: “Like this?”

Daffodil: “No, deeper.”

Daffodil: “Deeper.”

Daffodil: “And it has claws.”

Me: “On the feet?”

Daffodil: “No, the tub. Like a bathtub.”

Daffodil: “Can you put him under the spray?”

Me: “Like a shower? Sure…”

Daffodil: (taking the pencil) “I’m going to draw tiles.”

Me: “Alright. Less is more. Too many will make it hard to see what’s going on.”

Daffodil: “Okay. Like this?”

Me: “Sure, that’s good.”

Daffodil: “Now draw me, giving it a bath.”

Me: “I’d better put you behind it.”

Daffodil: “It doesn’t like baths. Write the words!”

Daffodil: “That doesn’t look like my Magination.”

Me: “Sorry, I wish I could see it, it’s hard to draw something just from a description.”

Daffodil: “That’s okay. Maybe it’s his cousin.”


My Little Art Director Rides Again

MLAD Rides Again

Since this My Little Art Director business is starting to be A Thing, I should say a few words about Daffodil in that role.

I haven’t all that much experience with Art Directors per se. Most of the time I’ve dealt directly with clients, but, of course, they have their own ideas about what they want. Vague, contradictory, absurd ideas completely outside their budgets, but ideas, nevertheless. Which, okay, is not that different than the professional art directors I’ve dealt with…

Daffodil is, in this context, an excellent client. The remuneration is not great, but hey, cheapskate business clients are not a lot better. Daffodil is a demanding client, but she knows what she wants and likes it when she gets it. She’s very particular about some things, but she knows my style and doesn’t ask me to do it like Picasso or Sargent or Frazetta would. And, you know, hugs. All in all, my favorite Art Director so far. So, if you’re thinking of hiring me for something, consider her as a model. Except for the remuneration part. Baby needs new shoes.

Daffodil: “Papa, I want you to draw me a picture.”

Me: “Okay. What am I drawing?”

Daffodil: “A unicorn.”

Me: “Alright. Like this?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. It’s a girl unicorn.”

Me: “Okay.”

Daffodil: “Remember, it’s in front of a cave.”

Me: “Like this?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. What’s that? Eyes?”

Me: “Yes. Is that okay?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. It’s a dragon. An angry dragon.”

Me (I shade in the cave mouth): “How can you tell he’s angry?”

Daffodil: “He’s making lots of noises- grrrrr… rawrrrr!!!!! Growl! Roar! But the unicorn doesn’t care.”

Daffodil: “She says, “neigh.””


My Little Art Director Strikes Back

My Little

Daffodil: “Papa, I want you to draw me a picture.”

Me: “Okay.”

Daffodil: “It’s a picture of a king.”

Me: “Alright. What is the king doing.”

Daffodil: “He’s lying on a beach chair. You know, like at the beach.”

Me: “Is he at the beach?”

Daffodil: “Maybe.”

(I draw a fat man in trunks on a beach lounge, with a crown on his head).

Daffodil: “His head is in a gazebo.”

Me: “Huh? Just his head?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. It’s just a little gazebo.”

Me: “Okay. You know what a gazebo is, right?”

Daffodil: “Yeth. It’s one of those things. With a roof. And like this… (gestures where the uprights belong).”

Me: “Okay. How’s that?”

Daffodil: “Good. Now somebody is fanning him. With a palm leaf.”

Me: “Alright, who is fanning him.”

Daffodil: “It could be you.”

Me: “No. I’m drawing the picture. I’m not doing all the work.”

Daffodil: “Oh, awwight… I’ll do it…”

Me: (looking at the drawing) “Hmmm… maybe you’d better be standing on a box…”

Daffodil: “Okay. And wearing a tiara. And I’m wearing a dress.”

Me: “How is that?”

Daffodil: “Good. Now draw my mom.”

I draw her mom standing behind the King’s beach lounge… and add the text…

The King