It was a sad moment all around when Dandelion was announced to be retiring after 27 years – the bright yellow in Crayola’s crayon set. This was decided in order to make room for a new blue shade. *cue sad music*
“Our beloved Dandelion decided to announce his retirement early! There’s no taming an adventurous spirit! #NationalCrayonDay” – Crayola
This isn’t a first-time occurrence for the crayon company. In 1990, eight shades — maize, lemon yellow, blue grey, raw umber, green blue, orange red, orange yellow and violet blue — were retired and eight new ones, including the yellow hue known as dandelion, were introduced. In 2003, four other colours were taken out and four new ones introduced. No matter how many changes are made though, the smell and sight that you get when opening a box of Crayola crayons certainly brings about a feeling of nostalgia.
Freelance illustrator and writer Hallie Bateman brilliantly reflected on the transition in this charming eulogy, using the dandelion crayon.
Hallie started her life on a mountain in rural Northern California surrounded by books and animals. She had an obsession with their animals and they were her first muses, photographing each one and collecting the photos in a big catalogue the moment she got given her first camera. Her aha moment came during an art class while studying writing in college. From then on, she chased this passion which has brought her to the point she’s at now – living in Los Angeles, happily drawing her way through life.
“I’d always drawn, just forever. When I was kid, I made comics, and, actually, I illustrated a story my dad wrote for the paper when I was 11. And my mom used to write for kids’ magazines; she used to write short stories and sometimes get published in magazines like Cricket. I used to always ask, “Mom, can I illustrate?” She’d always let me illustrate it and say that we could send it in, [even though] I knew there were illustrators who worked for the magazine. But it never occurred to me that [illustration] could be a job. Or it didn’t until college; for some reason, it just never clicked. So I’d be like, “Oh, I just doodled this thing and my friend laughed when I was in class and I wasn’t paying attention,” and that’d be it.” – Hallie Bateman (From a great interview with Daily Dot)
Her three pieces of advice for aspiring artists (via Muses Milk):
1. Your art is a soup in a crock pot that keeps cooking your whole life, and everything you see and hear and feel are the ingredients. First, find your base. Find your artistic heroes, and keep their works at your bedside table go back to them again and again and again. On top of this, season. Continue to read and watch and take in new things. Search out inspiration from all directions and pile it into the crock pot. Follow your hunches and don’t quit. Be generous with your soup. Serve it up from day one and just keep tasting and testing and learning. It’ll probably never be perfect but in ten years you’ll probably have a pretty good soup.
2. Even when they are very famous and established, artists are often consumed with self-doubt. Which makes logical sense. An artist is like a firefighter putting out a fire, except the fire and the hose are both literary devices and the artist isn’t sure they really work. In a world that is often actually on actual fire, scribbling and sketching and color choices often feel utterly insignificant. But as a consumer of art, you know about the many fires inside yourself that have been extinguished by some beautiful phrase or sound or image. When someone’s work really helps you, send an email or a letter and tell them about it. If they’re dead, say thanks by sharing their work with others. It’s good to say thank you. The world needs artists.
3. Bring your sketchbook everywhere. But choose a reasonably small sketchbook so you don’t hurt your back.
Eulogy found via The New York Times.