Time to Use a Different Tool

Ink on Mixed Media Paper – Words: Archibald Alexander

Yet another weekly challenge and this one was to write with a tool from nature. I took a walk and found a few things in our yard – a Tulip poplar bloom, a succulent pod, a scrap piece of bamboo (from a fence I am building), and a dog ball. I took a picture of the items, see below:

Tulip Poplar bloom, dog ball, bamboo and succulent pod

I dipped them in Sumi ink or Asian ‘red’ to write the quote. It was fun testing and trying to make it all look at least a bit like lettering. I wrote the “N” with the bloom and dog ball, the black text with bamboo and the last three words with the succulent pod. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

There is a great saying that a poor workman blames his tools. If you know what you are doing you ‘should’ be able to use just about any tool to get the job done. Sure it may take longer, or not be as finished or perfect, and it might even be a bit crude, yet a sold craftsman can do what they do no matter the tool.

I think that applies to people and situations as well. I often hear people berate the software or the setting, the people on their team or the lack of funds for not being able to deliver. Of course those things have an impact and yet other people have been able to get a job done under those same circumstances. By blaming a tool we think other people are buying it, when in reality they too realize we just gave up and are making an excuse. It is refreshing when people are honest about their lack of effort and skill AND are willing to ask for help or suggestions. No one knows it all so asking for help in not an unforgivable sin.

Want to test your skills, use a different tool. Want to find out what you really know or what you truly understand about your work, do it with something new. Believe me it is a great way to appreciate your knowledge and the tools you do use everyday. And when you share it with people they are astounded and you experience a bit of self pride…and who doesn’t need that? Who knew a dog ball and a bloom could make a day go better.

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