One of the best ways to learn a skill is to be forced to do it. Beginning in kindergarten, the private school I was attending ‘encouraged’ children to keep personal notebooks for every subject. In these, we illustrated lessons and copied notes and drawings from the blackboard. We were even told precisely how to draw; how to make ‘correct’, uniform-length, uniform-width, evenly spaced strokes with our Caran d’Ache colored pencils and oil pastels. We would actually get scolded for ‘against-the-grain’ contour shading, scrubbing, and outlining objects! Regardless, I loved it. I lost myself in my work; found myself creating work for classmates. In the third grade, I distinctly remember illustrating a blue Cadillac Fleetwood for a friend, using his toy die-cast metal car as a model. Cars, monsters, dragons, aliens, animals, BMX riders, and anything space-related were my most frequent creations, in the margins of math, Spanish, English, and history lessons.