By July 27, 2015 20 Comments



There’s a book I read to my son almost everyday these days – The Construction Crew.

Okay, let me be more honest: most days I read it to him at least five times. If he sees the book lying somewhere in the room, he is excited to read it, right that moment. And then to read it again.

My son has a lot of books about trucks, but this one has long been his favorite. It’s something about the art.

On the last page of the book is a short dedication from the illustrator, Carrie Eko-Burgess.

It says, “For my father, Charles Eko, who told me when I was little to quit tracing and start drawing.”

The first time I read that, in a 5:30 am up-with-the-little-one haze, my heart exploded a little.

“For my father, who told me when I was little, to quit tracing and start drawing.” 

What a gift to receive that message from a parent.

What a gift we give when we remind someone that they are ready, and they are enough, to quit tracing, and start drawing.

Where in your life are you tracing, when really, something is within you that wants to draw?

And where are we as a society still tracing something – some older picture that is supposed to show us the right way to do things – when in fact, it’s time to draw something new?

Love to you,


A little postscript. When I wrote to Carrie to get her permission to use the book cover image in this post, she told me how vividly she can still remember the moment when her father said this to her. She told me movingly, that her dad is even pictured in the book, a member of the construction crew. And oddly enough, we also discovered, that the very day she and I had been corresponding, she and my son had serendipitously crossed paths. Of all the places in the world, that day, they both were walking around the very same museum in San Francisco.


Join the discussion 20 Comments

  • Jo Hodson says:

    This game me goosebumps! What a wonderful analogy. Thank you 🙂

  • Susan Crown says:


    I loved this post this morning! Having just attended a work conference where one of the key messages was to stop “worrying” and to take action and do! I love it when the world aligns like this dropping similar messages in more places than one.

    Thank you.

  • Jill Bell says:

    Love this! Came at the perfect time for me. As always, love love love your writing and your wisdom. Thanks for sharing it with the world and inspiring us all, Tara.

  • Chris Bridge says:

    Hi Tara,

    Your message today hit me from another point of view! The part where you said you read to your son about 5 times a day at any moment… This is exactly what my new children’s book is about! May I send you a copy? I wrote the book for my two son’s when they were little and would follow me around the house saying “Read to Me!” Today, the book is being used for summer literacy programs all across Houston and is available on Amazon! (almost 30 years after it was written!)

    I am new to marketing through social media but have a web sight now and a FB page for my book. bridge2literacy.com

    I would love to send you and your son a copy of my book to thank you for all the inspiration you have shared that continues to encourage me and so many others! What is your mailing address?

    All the best to you and your family!


  • Mary Liz Tippin-Moody says:

    Thank you for this post, Tara! This story hit home for me on several levels…as a life-long artist – that advice is definitely a “home run.” My grandson is five, and his favorite book is also a book on trucks, machines, and transportation. We read it several times this last weekend. Again, thank you for sharing your insight!

  • Tara, What a wonderful story and message! It takes me back to when I was a child and my mother took away my color-by-number books and said “make your own drawings!” That was a gift too. Yet, I still at times draw “within the lines.” Thanks for the reminder to be and do more!

  • Dear Tara, This brought tears to my eyes. Though I am a grandma now, your writings inspire me so much. I really got a lot out of Playing Big and I hope I can encourage my grand daughter and grandson to draw their own pictures. And indeed it is time for new pictures in our culture.

  • Jeanni says:

    What a wonderful story, Tara. It reminded me of my youth as well. I never was able to colour inside the lines and always preferred to just draw!

  • June says:

    LOL This made me think of what I was told as a child…..’Don’t draw within the lines cause then your work will be just look like someone else’s, rather than being YOU” Made such a huge impression that I refuse to purchase coloring books for my kids, grand-kids and any other wonder child I am in contact with. And who believes that parents aren’t powerful?

  • Holly Grant says:

    I love this! A beautiful reminder.

  • Brenda Zook Friesen says:

    Chris – I sent you a direct message this morning. Let me know if that doesn’t come through for some reason. Thanks!

  • Liz Dixon says:

    Tara!!! Thank you for being a shining light. For living your truth and encouraging the world to do the same. I am grateful to have discovered your work and have already passed it on.
    Namaste. Liz x

  • CJ Schepers says:

    This is why I LOVE the soul called Tara Mohr! Keep rocking’ it, angel-woman. Pure Heart, CJ

  • What a beautiful post Tara!! This brought tears to my eyes too… Two of my kids are incredible drawers. My daughter has always compared herself to her brother and not believed in her own abilities. But just recently, after one quick lesson from him, she’s now drawing her portraits entirely herself – rather than tracing and filling in the detail, as she’d done for so long.
    Only a few days back we had a conversation about whether or not I could draw. That would be a no!!! But, as I told her, that’s probably because I wasn’t encouraged to learn to. And who knows, one of these days I may still teach myself (or have my amazing kids teach me!)

  • Kathlyn Hart says:

    Absolutely love this Tara!

  • Valerie says:

    Thank you for this inspiring message – for those of us who didn’t hear it, time to discover for ourselves!

  • MoniqueAJ Smith says:

    Nice reflection

  • Heather Close says:

    Incredible message. I love the cover art, too! Thank you, Tara and Brilliant Company!

  • Genevieve VenJohnson says:

    Woof!- A terrific little push of a question, Tara. Thanks.

  • Tara this is a beautiful message. Thank you for sharing it! I really connect with your message at the moment. I’ve always been passionate about yoga, and I’m about to stop tracing and become certified to teach!

We are on a mission to help you realize your playing big dream.
Dive into our resources here: