It’s funny, Sherlock has had a name since the moment I got him, but this guy does not have a designation in my mind. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t really have a face to speak of, but I honestly believe he has gone nameless for so long because I don’t have enough respect for what he represents. Maybe it’s a she? It’s clear I have a blind spot here that needs addressing. Let’s agree to call it a he, and I will christen him Paintboy, so that we can move on to describing his attributes.
This is the creative side. The one who gets into the childlike flow state where judgment and criticism are withheld. That magic place where the line between work and play blurs and Paintboy gets absorbed in his task and is not afraid to make a mess in the process. Comfortable in the knowledge that paint will wash off, he is not afraid to make bold choices, be colorful and make a splash.
Paintboyis is capable of getting lost in a project or game so thoroughly that he will be shocked when the streetlights come on and it’s time to go home for dinner. But he is just as likely to declare “I’m bored” and fidget in his seat while daydreaming about a hundred other things that are more fun than what he’s actually doing. He is also the one who seeks the gold star. He craves approval from authority, assurance that what he’s doing is good and that he is special. He’s the one that comes up holding a draft saying “I made this,” and you politely hang it on the fridge even though it needs a few more revisions before it is fit to be read. The little guy just wants you to like him, is that so bad?
His heart is on his sleeve, or rather, on his face. It may seem he has a great poker face since he has no features, but his feelings are front and center for all to see. Often I think of this is as a weakness, but more and more I’m coming to view this as a strength. Expressing our emotions makes us vulnerable, and it takes courage to open up. A certain maturity is required to not care if others perceive us as naïve.
He also represents the pure potential of the blank page. He embodies this void that can be filled up and then wiped clean again. Maybe it is this association that makes me uncomfortable contemplating him. But my misgivings aside, Paintboy embraces this stark white emptiness that gives him the space to create. He appreciates the opportunity to begin something new and is always eager to start. He is not a toe-dipper, he dives in.
If Sherlock is about knowledge and control, then Paintboy is about trusting intuition and releasing control. Sherlock wants it all figured out before he begins while Paintboy figures it will all get sorted out in the process.