Can you draw Tippy? Yeah, I think I can.

Way back when, young kids who dreamt of one day becoming an artist had to find ways of showcasing their talents by good ol’ fashioned mail. The Art Instruction, Inc. advertised these “talent tests” on TV where they would mail aspiring young artists a “draw me” brochure and have them complete the skill tests, then mail it back to them. Given that I watched TV pretty much from the time I got home from school to the time my mom got mad at me, I saw the commercial a lot.

The highlight of their pitch was a “Draw Tippy” challenge, where the goal was to draw Tippy the Turtle as close to their illustration as possible. Impress the Art Instruction School with a well-drawn Tippy, and you’ve got yourself a bright future.

Well, when I was 14 years old, I could TOTALLY draw Tippy. I knew I could draw Tippy. I could draw Tippy’s whole turtle family if I wanted to.

I sent for the test, filled out the form, drew “Tippy the Turtle” aaaand….never sent it in. (That’s my Tippy on the right). Oh well. I ended up working in the field anyways. And my mom never threw it away. Fast forward decades later and it’s digitally posted on a fancy-schmancy web site blog page. Take THAT Art Instruction Incorporated!

Now that I look at it, my Cubby was kinda weak. Not to mention my handwriting. Yikes.