The Crayola Experience, Plano, Texas

This week’s location is inside of a Mall in Plano, Texas, but the entirety of what it offers is a transformative experience.

I remember mastering coloring inside of the lines at an early age, and art has always seemed to be an adjacent part of my life. It was a quiet reflection that distracted me while I accompanied a parent to work, meetings and the like. I would sink into my own thoughts, or better, escape some of my own thoughts as I focused on the task at hand. I don’t consider myself a very voluble person and in a way I think I should credit that to the time I spent in coloring books or even doodling on a sheet of copier paper. Coloring or creating art was more than an expression to me; it was an act of self discovery.

Now that I have a toddler, I am all too familiar with the children’s menu activities that arrive with the waxiest, most cost-efficient crayons that are known to society. It makes me wonder what happened to the restaurants in the 90’s that would lay out butcher paper as tablecloths so that all diners could doodle. I’d gladly skip the customary kid’s meal toy in exchange for a casual art experience.

Plano as a whole has a lot to offer, but the Crayola Experience is a definite highlight, especially for the parent of a young child who happens to be nostalgic. At the end of the experience itself, there is a Crayola store with a vast selection of not only art supplies, but apparel and accessories. For a family photo shoot, I secured tees that looked like the paper wrappers of some of our favorite crayons. It was kitsch and fitting all at the same time.

Coloring transports me back into a particular space, the same way that this week’s track also does so. You may remember the “Art Meets Science” post having a very similar sound to this week’s track. Chance The Rapper’s “Blessings” was featured that week and I chose the “Reprise” this week from his “Coloring Book” Mixtape. The Mixtape title itself was such a great tie in to this week’s location, but Chance’s verse itself invokes descriptive and detailed imagery as though a picture forms in my head as I enjoyably listen.

I won’t wax more poetic this week than normal, but just want to say that I hope you too have a focus and direction that informs you.

Until we meet again, take care of yourself and one another.

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