During the summer when I was eight, I participated in a drawing competition with other Grade 2 children at my school. It was a competition hosted by my hometown and the assignment was to draw one’s dream road. For several weeks before the summer break, we spent each arts and crafts class drawing our dream roads using crayons and watercolour painting.
Not everybody enjoyed this assignment, but I loved it. I decided to draw a road that stretched out of the earth into the universe, passing by many planets and stars on the way. I coloured the main portion of the road in rainbow colour using my crayons. Every time I drew one wavy line across the road, I switched colours and repeated the process. Because of this time-consuming process, I didn’t finish my drawing even after all my classmates finished theirs. I even stayed after school to work on my drawing. To my delight, several people including my teacher liked my drawing and they said it looked very beautiful. Encouraged by their words, I continued colouring my road.
Later that summer, the result of the competition came out, and my drawing won a prize. Neither of my parents had ever received any compliment, let alone a prize for their artwork. So, when the invitation letter to the little popup gallery of the selected drawings came to our mailbox, they thought it was a big deal and we should go and have a look.
In the popup gallery, only the pieces that had won the highest prizes were displayed in proper frames. Many of them, including mine, were displayed only with soft basic protection covers. I noticed this difference in treatment, but my parents paid no attention to such matter. They were happy and impressed that their daughter’s drawing was displayed in the gallery at all.
After the summer break, when I went back to school, our dream road drawings were returned, but I didn’t get mine back. Then my teacher called me aside.
“Your drawing…” she said. “It will be displayed on the school corridor. I hope it’s okay?”
When I looked at her puzzled, she further explained.
“So, one of the teachers said that there is one available spot on the corridor and we can display one of the drawings from our dream road project. And I immediately pulled out yours and asked him to display this one!”
Thus, my dream road drawing spent the rest of the year displayed on the school corridor, near one of the staircases, in a proper glass frame. Every time I went up the staircase, I saw my own colourful drawing, shining in the sunlight coming in from the window. And I used to feel very proud. It especially warmed my heart that the reason my drawing found its place there was not because of any prize but because somebody really loved it.