Monday, September 21, 2009

Why is it so darn hard to take advice from our kids?

When I started this blog I had know idea what direction it would take, I wasn't even sure I would continue posting for lack of interest. As I have continued posting comments and illustrations it seems as though this blog is taking on it's own personality. I thought of the name sketch and release for the blog but it had little significance at the time. The mean of the name is now making more sense to me. Sketch and release, that's exactly what I've been doing.  

  I am really enjoying being able to share thoughts with whom ever logs on. I feel as though I am have a conversation with a friend which is allowing me to share my drawings and helping me to release some bottled up thoughts. Everyone knows that life can be difficult at times, with all of the responsibilities and the constant bomb bardament of the world's problems, sometimes you just need to get something out of your system and you want to tell someone but you don't know who. This is my place to do it. 
I have always been some what reserved in my attitude to having a great time in life, don't get me wrong, I love to have fun but it is very difficult for me to just cutting loose and go crazy and really just having a carefree moment in in my life. This attitude has probably kept me out of trouble at times in my past but I'm sure that it has kept me from really enjoying and absorbing the full potential of events I have experienced as well. I recognized this in myself a few years back and have been trying to work on it since. I am also some what of a pessimist, something I really hate about myself, I tend to look at the negative side of things instead of the positive side instead. I have been working on that as well. I have lots of things to work on and lots of things I am working on in my life, trying to become a better person. So, why am I telling you this?

 Last night, I was on the phone with my daughter, whom I get along with very well and somewhere in the conversation we started having a heated discussion, which ended with her in tears and me feeling like a real shlep. We never really argue and when we do I get extremely insecure with myself and I immediately go into the (I'm the father so I know more) posture and start preaching or disassembling my daughters argument. This is a really bad habit, I'm really good at it to so I easily fall right into doing it.  I have developed this as a way to survive in the Grasso family atmosphere(crush, kill, and destroy). It is much easier to breakdown someone else's point of view than it is to solidify or defend your own position, mainly because they are so busy defending their position and don't get an opportunity to punch holes in yours. This is another thing I'm working on changing. 
When I got off the phone I continued to feel poorly about our (Samantha my daughter and my) interaction, so I turned to my wife of course and continued to defend my point of view, she looked at me with the (I have no idea what you are so worked up about look), so there I was a big giant blow-hard preaching to myself in the middle of the living room. Isn't that a lovely picture, I haven't changed a bit!
 Then I started thinking, why is it so hard for parents to accept that there children will evetually have a different opinion about things than them? Why is it so difficult to take advice from our children no matter how old they are? Why is it so hard to admit and when is it time to admit that our children may have out grown us in some areas. Why is it so hard to admit they may be smarter than we are or that they are more spiritual than we are, and or they are more loving than we are? Why is it so hard to accept that at some point we can learn something from our children? I mean, if you raised them right, then you're are kind of responsible for them being so worldly and so it would behoove one to take said advice or accept knowledge from them. 
I thought some more and came up with this assumption. We are afraid that our children might think less of us. We think they will no longer seek our council. We distort there loving and kind direction into critical comments. We think that our children will recognize all the times in the past that we were less than a good parent. Most of all we fear that they will not respect us and love us as much as we love them. The very thought bring me to tears. 

 So, what do we do, we act like complete idiots and show sides of ourselves that we don't even recognize and we lash out and later we lower our heads in shame of what we portrayed ourselves to be, an ugly human being with lots of faults, the very thing we are afraid they will think we are.
This proves once again to me as in the past, that even at 46 years old I am immature and have plenty of room to learn and grow both spiritually and mentally in my life. I am and will continue my quest to be the best son, brother, husband, father, and friend that God is letting me know I can be.
 Samantha you are a blessing from God, I love and cherish you not only as a daughter but as a friend and fellow Christ follower, thanks for becomeing the person you are. Love, Daddy

This an actual copy of a cleaned up background from the movie "Brother Bear". I think I may have done the original workbook drawing as well. It is long horizontally because there was a camera move that took place over the art work. 

This piece is very special to me. It is the only shot in "Brother Bear" where I did the workbook drawing, the rough drawing and the clean up drawing. I also designed the tertiary characters in the background for this shot. It was an awesome experience and challenge. 

This is out of my sketch book, mail boxes are also on the top of my list of things I like to draw, go figure.
This is another drawing from my sketch book, I took time on one of my visits to Disney to do a quick sketch, I practically always have my sketch book with me but I seldom take time to sketch my surroundings anymore.
This a sketch book drawing that I dressed up with some watercolor. It was during the time I was working on "Lilo and Stitch". I'd never been to Hawaii, so I did a lot of sketches to try to get the feel of the environment. It is easier to capture the surreal feeling of the worlds we create in our films when you get to go on the research trips, less guess work more artist license.


  1. Hi Dad, the blog is awesome. I've been reading for a good 20 minutes. I love the description of the Grasso family atmosphere haha. You and Samantha butt heads a lot though. You two are so alike that its hard for either one of you to find a common ground. I'm sure she is working on it too, but I'm glad your coming to that realization. She is too smart for her own good sometimes though(love you sis!). I've seen God work so much in you the past few years and you've really improved as a Father(not that you were ever bad). It sounds weird saying it and I'm sure it will sound weird hearing it but I'm proud of the fact that you have become more open eared to what I have to say and understanding of the decisions that I'm making. Love you, keep up the blog, I like it tons!

  2. Wow, now that's what I call a heavy post. I respect your honesty and vulnerability. It takes a strong man to declare to the world that he's not perfect. And as your daughter's husband, I appreciate the opportunity to have a little better understanding of what happened in your conversation last night. I know Samantha will appreciate it too.

    Personally , I think you are a very good man Craig and a great father too. I know that from experience since I'm your son-in-law now! Having children is something that I have yet to experience in life. I can only imagine the relational complexity that it brings.

    May God bless you and bring you peace as you continue to sort through all of these things...

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  4. Thanks Dad. I'm glad you have a blog too because you probably never would have said ALL that to me, and I get some insight into your personal thoughts that I never really get. I felt bad after the conversation too, but reading this really made me feel 100% better about things. It really makes me sad to think that anything I've ever said to you made you feel I don't love you exactly the way you are - Nate really loves you a lot too, and he's told me randomly on a number of occasions how much he respects your point of view on things, and how much he misses you guys. I love seeing God working in your lives, and I know you both are changing peoples lives! We love your strength!

    Love, Samantha

  5. That was an exhausting post! I am glad your heart feels all that it does, it makes you a great artist, dad and husbo (ha ha ha, I could not resist). I love you.

  6. Jeff Draper (friend extraordinaire)October 3, 2009 at 4:54 AM

    Brother Craig,
    I never had a biological brother, but I've always felt that the bond we formed in our 20's was as close as it gets. I woke up at 5:30am today (Saturday) thinking to myself how could I be a better father, husband, friend, teacher, motivator, creator. I immediately thought of you and your blog, and the time we had in Hollywood last weekend. As the people who read these comments know, you have an awesome affect on those you come in contact with. God does need a lion, Craig..and you are that lion. Keep doing what you do.
    I on the other hand need a lot of work. First I need to work on my sarcasm. Not improve upon it, I'm actually quite adept in the art. No, I need to tame it's ugly head. I may have poked a jab once too often at your Dad last weekend, and Mr. G if you read these comments I apologize if I came across a bit sassy. In guy talk, teasing, and cajoling are forms of affection, and I quickly fall into that mode when surrounded by people I feel comfortable with. It means I love you in a weird way. Ok, I know this is your blog Craig, just wanted you to know that your words, and your existence inspire me bro! Can I also give you a cute moniker? How about Brobo? Yes, need more work on the sarcasm thing.