|Me at age 6 with the mural I made for my 1st grade class Christmas program.|
Today I am getting ready for an elementary school presentation. I am going to talk to the kids about how I became an illustrator. I wanted to connect what they are doing now to what they may do in the future. I found this picture and the story behind it is so inspiring, I wanted to share with the rest of you.
When I was little I loved to draw. Big surprise. I had a difficult time in school. Later, as an adult, I discovered that I had undiagnosed ADHD. I had a hard time concentrating on most of my school work, and school was a struggle for me.
I had a wonderful first grade teacher, Mrs. Clark. She could see that I struggled in school, but she could also see that I loved art. Art was therapy for me. So instead of discouraging me from drawing, she encouraged me.
She had me draw a special nativity scene mural for the class Christmas program. She had me make special scenery for the class puppet show. She saw my potential and encouraged my artistic growth. If it weren't for her, I might have become discouraged and never have become the artist I am today. I wish I could find Mrs. Clark now and thank her.
To contrast with that, in third grade, I had a teacher that never did art projects. Ever. My drawing was discouraged. I was literally sick for three weeks and wasn't able to go to school.
Teachers, you are important. Encourage your students where you see their potential. Don't forget art. The arts should always be part of the school curriculum. Don't forget that many people grow up to have jobs in the arts. Not only that, but art, music, and dance feed parts of the brain that help kids in all other areas of their academics and social well being.
Hear my plea. Don't forget the art.