Wow! I absolutely LOVE school visits! I love them almost as much as I love drawing! School visits are so inspirational! The kids have a special way of rejuvenating my passion for creating picture books. Their excitement and honesty motivate me to elevate my craft.
On Tuesday, David and I were very fortunate to be invited to speak to all four Grade One classes at Joshua Creek Public School. Being a slightly younger crowd, I had prepared a special new presentation just for them - which included some fun new artwork and also some of my own grade one drawings.
Below are three slides that I shared with them...
To make our presentations more engaging, I asked, "Does anyone know who these characters are?" "Could you please tell me more?" and naturally "Has anyone ever kissed a frog?"
Long story short, my informal poll has revealed "1 in 100 six year olds have indeed kissed a frog."
I've had many important teachers in my life, but none more influential than my Grade 1 teacher - Mrs. Combs was warm, patient, pretty and always smiling. She was my favourite teacher.
Mrs. Combs gave each of us a journal and our assignment was to draw or write about something daily. As you can see from the above illustration (circa February 1982), I enjoyed this assignment. This is a portrait of me proudly presenting my journal to her at the end of the week.
Wednesday, February 10, 1982 was the day I knew I wanted to became an artist. Mrs. Combs gave me a perfect score! There was a sticker, "C" check mark, a star and these four legendary words, "Good picture! Nice perspective!"
It was the most exciting day of my six years of existence! I mean, I did have pizza the day before, but this was one hundred times better than that! Words could not describe how happy I was. I wanted to write more. I wanted to draw more. I wanted to find out what the big word "perspective" meant. I felt complete utter joy!
Well later I found out that perspective was a system that helps show 3d objects in space. But more importantly, I discovered how amazing that a simple word of encouragement had such a profound impact on a six year old's life.
Thank you Mrs. Combs - you're still my favourite!