Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Small Comforts

For the past month, I've had the privileged of giving drawing/art instruction to Natalie, a very talented, 6-year-old, self proclaimed artist. I'd like to share a conversation we had at our last lesson.

Natalie: "Miss Lisa?"

Me: "Yes Natalie?"

Natalie: "I noticed somethin'."

Me: "And what's that Natalie?"

Natalie: "I noticed these lesson's keep getting harder."(sigh)

Me: "Uh-ha, that's correct, you're very bright Natalie."

Natalie: "So how come? How come they're getting harder?"

Me: "Well, if they were getting easier, you wouldn't be learning anything, now would you?"

Natalie: "I guess not."(sigh)

Natalie: "So, Miss Lisa?"

Me: "Yes Natalie?"

Natalie: "Am I gonna be a great artist when we're all finished with lessons?"

Me: "You already are a great artist Natalie, but you're going to be a genius."

Natalie looked up, her eyes sparkled, and a warm smile spread from one ear to the other.

There are moments in your life, when you know you are exactly where you should be. This was one of them. This thought occurred to me as I watched her little face light up.

I remember the teachers in my own life, and how my child-brain unknowingly recorded every positive, creatively affirming comment they made. I wonder if any of them ever considered the influence they would have in the direction of my life? I certainly think about such things.

Teachers have a great responsibility. Not only do they impart knowledge, but they have the ability to comfort us and build our self esteem.

I look for the greatness and possibilities within each child I teach. It's comforting to know that no matter what they do or where they go, a small piece of the best of me will go with them.

To be remembered fondly...can there be anything more humbling?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Professional Update

I just found out that I've been chosen as the winner of Dragonfly Publishing's 2008 Cover Art Contest! Here's the entry I submitted:

I will be receiving a trophy and a publishing contract to illustrate the entire Picture Book, "The Nine Lives of Popcorn".

Here's a BIG shout out to all my critique buddies....
THANK YOU! I couldn't have done it without you!