How a childhood memory made me who I am today

By: Julie Wilk

When Bonnie asked me to think of a childhood memory where I learned how to do one specific thing, immediately I thought back to when I first began to draw. I had drawn things before I was 5 years old but it wasn’t until I was 5 that I had fallen in love with the movie “The Lion King” and i desperately wanted to create my own stories related to that movie. So I began to draw some of the characters from the movie. I had a cool art set as a child where you could put big sheets of paper on one side, and a chalk board would be on the other side. It stood up like a canvas and I decided I wanted to start using the paper side. I was in the middle of watching my favorite movie and I took the VHS case and looked at how the characters were drawn. Immediately I began studying the shapes that they were created from, the movements they made in the movie, and their facial features. I remember it was in the evening and my mother was at work. My father was looking after my younger brother while occasionally checking in on me to see what I was doing. I told him I was going to draw the characters from the lion king while I was watching the movie. So I grabbed a pencil and took the paper on my canvas and started drawing my favorite character, Timon. There was something about him that I really liked—I liked how his expressions were drawn, I liked how he moved and I thought he had the cutest design. I also liked his personality and how he always told Simba “Hakuna Matata”–It means “no worries” and I thought that is exactly what I wanted in life–not to worry. So there I sat, drawing him as he appeared on television and as I was about to finish my drawing my father came in the room and saw it. I remember him saying how amazing it was and I told him”thanks! He’s my favorite” and then my father told me “you should draw yourself with him!” and immediately I was enthused. I knew I had to draw myself, and I did. After I drew the photo all I could think of was how to take this story I loved so much, and create something new. That’s immediately when I told my dad “I want to write a sequel”. And he was very impressed. My father had always thought I was creative and he urged me to use my creativity to help me in life—even when it came to my schooling.

Now I look back at that moment years later at the age of 21 thinking—I have created an entire movie script, and designed original characters and I have done SO MUCH artwork. I love showing people my artwork and people always urge me to do more. The creativity doesn’t stop at artwork however, I have applied my creativity to my schooling and my degree of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences . I have always wanted to create new things for myself, and once I found out about the Interdisciplinary Studies program, I wanted to create my own major from my own scientific interests. I realized how much I like both art and science, and while I still want to create my sequel to the lion king, I know I need to be realistic and make a decent salary as a scientist before I can travel out to LA and talk to Disney about my idea. I’ve always loved creating new original stories and works, so I thought that creating my own  be just like that. Just like creating my own pieces of art and stories, I have created my own original degree so I can lead myself into a life of possibilities.

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  1. What a wonderful early connection to your current path. You might consider a way to get your name and major into this post. A photo with a caption would help to bring reader and writer together with tangible text. So, you touch on a lot of themes in this lovely memory,, for one, the importance of a support system from those around as we share our work/ideas and take on new challenges. It makes me begin to think about how you will choose to enrich your experience as IDS major with your specific research and applied Project. How can you begin to write that sequel into an applied Project?

    1. I updated it and included me name and major title. I’m thinking of adding some artwork to this post as well as a photo of my own scientific interest.

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