I once met two kids at a convenience store. It was a cold December night and our house was locked because my parents were out celebrating their wedding anniversary, and my sister was at her friend's house. I had no keys with me so I decided to just wait at a convenience store.  It's a good thing I brought my handy dandy doodle book with me to pass the time.

As I was doodling Jollibee in different art styles, two kids suddenly approached me and looked at what I was doing. These kids are way past their bedtime! It was kind of awkward since I'm not really comfortable with people looking at what I'm doing. I'm gonna try my best to remember this exactly because it happened a few months ago.

Since I'm not really comfortable with people staring at my work when I'm there, after a while I asked them this. Gusto niyo drawing ko kayo? (Do you want me to draw you two?) "Sige kuya!" (Kuya is a term for older brother and sometimes used to call unrelated older guys), they replied. Their faces lit up on the idea. After all, they probably don't always get the chance to be drawn by another person.

JC and Jolo were the names of the two kids in this story. After drawing them, they told me, "Kuya ang creative mo. Kahit simple yung drawing mo ang daming nagagandahan." (Kuya you're so creative. No matter how simple your drawing is, a lot of people appreciate it.) I'm surprised they're aware of the word creative and I laughed at their exaggeration on how many people like my work.

After drawing them, I asked them if they wanna draw on my doodle book too. They were really ecstatic after hearing that. Other people in the store were even drawn into what was happening.

Later on, they shared how their parents would get mad at them for drawing at the back of their notebooks that they use for school. They told me their parents think it's a waste of time and a waste of space. Hearing that made me sad.

After a while, my parents texted me that they're home so I had to leave and say goodbye. Their parents were calling them to go home too. During that moment, I wanted to give them their own doodle book and pen so that they continue to draw and be creative whether or not they'll pursue the creative arts.

What I learned from this is that I should never give up on the things that I love no matter how bad I think it is right now. I just need to remind myself to keep on going and to keep practicing until I get better. I'm so glad I am surrounded by friends who are much better illustrators and artists than me. But no matter how good they are, they're grounded and are always open to help me. They inspire me to be better at my craft. I'll be ending this piece with an excerpt from The Gap by Ira Glass.

"We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work."

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