Sketching childhood: toy hoover

toy vacuum sketch by Artfully Carin

I began the sketching childhood series of drawings for two reasons.

1) To document my children’s childhood. As much as I love photography, I find that nothing engages all my senses like drawing. It makes me see all the layers of a thing or a situation. To draw their lives then, makes me feel like I engage even deeper with the things they are and do.

2) To get back into a regular drawing practice. After years of not drawing much, making these sketchbooks for my kids seemed less intimidating than starting with, let’s say, a series of realistic portraits. These sketches are often drawn with more love than skill, but I’m learning (and often re-learning) with each and every sketch. When I look back on the first one now, Aoife’s roller skates, I can see how hesitant I was.

But I didn’t expect this series to change ME quite the way that it has. It’s too early to draw conclusions or make projections, but it is fair to say that drawing is once again an essential part of my life.

It seems quite fitting then, that the week I began realising how much it is changing me, I also chose to sketch the toy hoover (or vacuum if you prefer), as this toy has taken on a new life in the last few months. The detachable handheld part has reached new heights as a rocket. Alan and I joke that if we were to buy Kirby a toy rocket now, he’d still use the hoover. So we don’t. And we carry on laughing at him as he zooms around the house shouting “rocket…high up in the sky!”


  1. Don’t you just love how kid’s imaginations work! This post made me smile.

    And I think your drawing is fantastic!!
    Janet recently posted…Going Back to Basics Again…My Profile

  2. Such an interesting evolution, comparing the skates to the vacuum. And I appreciate how Kirby is improvising and being creative… the learning begins early indeed! Good for you for not wanting to be quick to draw conclusions (I always do that) but it sounds like the messages you’re getting from this series are subtle, but clear.
    Angie Mizzell recently posted…The thing I don’t forgetMy Profile

    • Thanks Angie! I DO tend to draw conclusions too fast, but in the last few years I have gotten better at holding off and going slow. I get more enjoyment out of them then in the long run. Still, the messages that are coming through are clear and fun.
      Carin recently posted…Sketching childhood: toy hooverMy Profile

  3. This is amazing Carin! I love that you use drawing as I use photography. Both amazing ways of documenting our children. x
    Katie @Mummydaddyme recently posted…The Baby Things.My Profile

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