Illustration Friday: Lost

A very roundabout way to tell a story. . . .

Every year at Christmas my sister and I would each get a new 64-count box of Crayola crayons, the one with the bonus pencil sharpener built right into the box. And every year we tried–but failed miserably–to keep them in their like-new condition, carefully putting them back in the box in precise order. But as the factory-sharpened points quickly became worn and stubby (usually by mid-January), all the crayons would end up in an old Royal Dansk butter cookie tin. The cookie tin was convenient for travel, except the one fateful trip to South Carolina when we left the crayons by the rear window for just a tad longer than Binney & Smith’s original patent intended.

The following Christmas, instead of our beloved Crayola 64-count box, we received PlastiColors, a revolutionary new no-melt crayon. All the promise of rich waxy color, but in actuality a disappointingly hard, unyielding colored pencil disguised as a crayon. Nothing could replace that saturated layer-upon-layer of shiny wax build-up you achieve with a tried and true Crayola Sea Green or Carnation Pink (personal favorite for longer than I would like to admit).

So that was the year I lost color–quit cold turkey and from then on my Academie sketch diary was in just black and white.

In researching Crayola’s colorful history, I found Stephen Von Worley and friend Velo’s Crayola Color Chart, 1903-2010. Kind of like a melting timeline. Stephen has all kinds of interesting visualizations of data at http://www.datapointed.net
Velo’s Crayola Color Chart, 1903-2010 © 2009-2012 Stephen Von Worley

5 responses to “Illustration Friday: Lost

  1. Great illustration showing the lost crayons/potential pictures etc etc. Very traumatic experience for you both!

    I don’t think I had Crayola crayons as a child. I have in recent years taken them on holiday for sketching, sticking them in the sand of the beach in colour groups. Our temperatures in the UK don’t usually get high enough to do much melting (especially so far this summer – but all change soon for the London 2012 Olympics!).

  2. Great story, and great illustration!

  3. Great illustration, especially the mix of surprised and disappointed expressions. I remember melting Crayolas on purpose to make candles as a child. I’m not sure how well the candles would have worked. Once I got the candle shape, I couldn’t bear to light the wick. 😉

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