May 15, 2022

Little Blue (& white) Trucks

By Elayna Johnson

This is the origin story, the artist's statement, the reason behind these adorable little vehicles. Yes, I'm going to toot my own horn--beep beep!  These 6 art prints of 6 different trucks and machines that my toddler loves. 


Where do I even begin? 

October 2021 – A crash from the ally sprung my then 18 month old up from the attention of his toys. His mouth agape, he stared at me hearing the crash of plastic garbage bins. The trash (or perhaps recycling) truck slowly rounded the alley curve, crunching tree limbs and continuing to bump through the alley. My son’s mouth stayed wide open, but now his eyes matched his comically round mouth. His excitement vibrated through his body and I swear I could see energy spring from the tiny blond waves on his head. As the trash truck finished its duties my son gleefully yelled for more. I told him that next week this giant truck would return, with no faith he would remember.

A short week later we stood on the porch watching the rain. My son whipped his head around, his mouth and eyes were yet again perfect circles. Perplexed, I made a face back at him. He didn’t move or say anything. Then in the distance I heard the unmistakable thud of the garbage bin thwacking the side of the trash truck. He remembered and was still in awe. This began the hilarious habit of our tiny toddler making an incredible face every Tuesday midmorning. He would stare at us with his eyes wider than I knew they could reach, and his mouth so large I was sure he had unhinged his jaw. This face would freeze until someone else heard the trash truck too and acknowledged the incredible experience alongside him. 

There is something about the essence of a toddler that is pure magic.

They see things so well. Think about it, they have no phone, no responsibilities. They can remember where they hide crackers in their toy bins, they communicate with other children using no words at all. Their lives are mysterious and repetitive. They are pure joy and absolutely unpredictable. Each day their horizons broaden and they discover new things.

At about 18 months they look up and tune their ears to hear and see these giant vehicles. For so long they are plopped into a parent’s car and they ride around in the back watching the roads fly by. Then one day, they see something that looks like mama’s car, except it is way better. Will they get to ride in it? What is the purpose? How are the wheels so big? Why is this giant truck almost touching my toys in the backyard? It’s like when you discover a new car and then you see it everywhere. Toddlers discover a new type of vehicle and it. is. everywhere. 

New house? Excavator. Road work? Dump truck. Trash day? Trash truck. I could go on and on. These enormous trucks are a gift. My close neighbor friend and I recently parked our strollers across the street from some excavators doing their thing. Mom after mom passed us in their cars giving us big grins and thumbs ups. Surely remembering the days they once had toddlers discovering these huge trucks too 

I don’t know when I forgot to be in awe of these machines. As we watched the road work Maggie and I discussed what the machines were doing, we talked about our favorite vehicles and the things we have learned. Our sons were not a part of this conversation at all, we have just come to love what they love. 

What is better than the pure magic of a toddler? Learning to love what they love. Not because you love it, but because you love them more than you understand and you want to somehow be in their little brain with them.

So now I see the trucks. They are amazing, I watch them move and work and crunch things and spin in circles. I see the same sanitation workers each week, looking forward to their waves. In the words of the man we see every week, “I don’t know what it is, but there is something about these trash trucks!”

Now, in honor of my son's love I have lovingly created these six pieces for him. Since I know his adoration isn't abnormal I have created prints so you can experience the joy too! 

Shop here



New here? Who is this mysterious voice talking about what could very well be the exact thoughts in my own head!

I'm Elayna, watercolor artist, mother of two, artist, business owner, and user of every hour of every single day. Learn more about me here, but let's be real I wrote my about me 6 months ago...just follow me on instagram