The kind of day he had would not have inspired a similarly energetic reaction on my part, but in general I get it. Every grownup needs at least one sandbox. The ping-pong table is his.
A funny thing happened the other day during my portfolio critique at the children's book conference. An art director noted that work derived from my sketchbooks was generally better than work created as Illustrations with a capital I. This is not the first time such as an observation has been made, and I am far from the only illustrator with this issue. Years ago, a newspaper colleague was scribbling on a piece of scrap paper in a meeting and, in about 90 seconds, came up with a simple line drawing that became a cover illustration for a story we'd been discussing in that meeting.
For many of us drawn to pens and pencils and such, our sandbox is a sketchbook or the back of an envelope. It's the one place to recapture the freedom of play we found in childhood.
Where is your sandbox?