Lessons from Elephant Art
Elephant Art

Finding the inspiration to stay positive during a pandemic year of “unusuals” was draining, if not pointblank depressing. Amid the chaotic climate of 2020, patience and impatience for “normalcy” bounced out of balance. All across the globe, emotions tipped up and down as if riding a teeter-totter. Sheltering in place, isolated us from what we knew. Would our “usual” ever return?

As an author, I did my normal story-storming, read posts by favorite writers, and participated in author webinars. My brain hurt. My passion dulled. Maybe I wasn’t a writer after all. Then one dreary morning in February, I zoned out gazing at a favorite painting of mine. A gift given to me during my stint as Anna in the musical “The King and I.” The watercolorists were two artsy elephants from our local zoo. Staring at their broad brushstrokes, I had an epiphany. Their silly, joyful, random way of exploding color on canvas epitomizes for me what fuels inspiration. It pumps the heartbeat of living and growing.

Here are five lessons these gentle giants taught me. May they feed your muse as well.

Lessons from Elephant Art

ONE: Don’t think about where to start. Just get doing.

TWO: Explore on a broader canvas, beyond what’s usual.

THREE: LOVE the mess. Imagine the process is a playground.

FOUR: Forget about failure. Nothing’s ever wasted.

FIVE: Keep joy in the journey.

Ready to begin a new venture? A fresh attitude? Think like an elephant. Congratulate yourself as you climb each slippery step toward your goal. Stay strong. No wavering…hesitating. When the newness wears away, hold on. You’ll be wowed by what’s beyond your “usual.”

More of what you love


“Walter had a best friend named Xavier. They hiked up the hill together. They painted pictures together. They were quiet together. Walter and Xavier were best friends.” Then gently and slowly, they were not.
Walter and Xavier do everything together together. This cheerful mouse and green-footed fowl are best buds…happy in their close friendship. Then as it often happens, they drift apart until Xavier strikes up a friendship with Penelope, a hedgehog. Right away, Walter is angry. Loneliness settles in. There’s a “big hole in his heart where Xavier used to be. It felt like the hole would be there forever.”

read more


“This is a rock. He lives on the Nature Finds shelf in room 214, with an acorn, some moss, and a piece of bark…. He has been sitting on this shelf for as long as he can remember.”
Rick is soooo tired of being sedentary. After listening to the teacher talk about the power and importance of rocks in nature, this clump of gray with glue-on eyes and an inked-on smile decides it’s time to fulfill his dream and leave the shelf. With a bit of happenstance, he escapes the classroom and ventures into the great outdoors.

read more

Join the conversation


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Marsha Elyn Wright

Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


Professional Organizations

Share This