In my last post about creativity, I talked about filling up our well. Today I want to ask the question, “Who inspires or inspired you to be creative?”
Although we usually have more than one person who contributed to our creative life, I want to thank Mrs. Hickman, my seventh grade art teacher.
In addition to writing, I love to draw and paint. I sometimes think that if things would have been different I may have been an art teacher, but I ended up a writer who likes to sometimes pretend, she is an artist.
If any of you were quiet and obedient students, like me, you probably didn’t get much attention or encouragement from your teachers. I didn’t ask many questions, nor did I cause disruptions in class, and I think my teachers looked at me with sigh of relief because they didn’t have to spend their time and energy on me.
Mrs. Hickman was one of my youngest teachers, and she would get down beside me and speak softly as she encouraged me. When my art class was over, I continued to draw at home. Before I left junior high I got up the courage to show my drawings to her. She kept them overnight and when she returned my drawing tablet the next day, she had written and illustrated an entire page of helpful instructions and told me I was doing very well and to keep practicing.
I went on to high school and took art for one year, but I didn’t feel the teacher even knew I was in the classroom. Soon after, I stopped pursuing art, but I didn’t lose my passion and now I have an art bin of pastels, oils and watercolor paints and indulge myself as an adult.
When I think about Mrs. Hickman, this is what comes to mind:
She took time. She took the time to say words that uplifted. She gave me instructions on how to do better, but also told me things I was doing right. She also took time for me when I wasn’t her student.
She was kind. She was simply kind. She was soft-spoken and smiled when she told me what I was doing wrong.
She took me seriously. Even though I was a “kid” she saw potential and encouraged me.
Oh, and I still have that drawing tablet I showed her over forty years ago.
Thank you, Debby Hickman.
Who inspired you along the way?