When I was a kid living in New Jersey with my 3 brothers, it was a boy-dominated neighborhood. We had 2 older boys living on one side and 2 boys on the other. Thankfully, there was one other girl for me to play with, but it was a pretty rough and tumble, sports-oriented backyard.
Anyway, this sets the stage for one skinny little artistic girl (me) amongst the male-oriented gender.
So the 2 neighbor boys who were much older than me had a very well-built and desirable “clubhouse.” I’m not sure what this single room cottage was originally built for, but it was a very cool little house.
One of these neighbor boys, Jack, had artistic talent and would use the clubhouse to collect and draw comic books. Of course, even back then I was fascinated with his drawings. Most of the time, the boys would keep me out, but occasionally I would be allowed to enter the superhero kingdom.
On one of those days, Jack had sectioned off a piece of paper and told me what to draw in each square. He told me to draw Wonder Woman lassoing a bad guy in one box and then the guy knocked out in the next. . . stuff like that. He coached me along, asking me what Wonder Woman’s costume look like, what color were her boots, what a gun looked like, and so on.
Then, the next day when I came back to the clubhouse, there was a comic book made from my drawings which were all artistically enhanced by Jack with a title page and words added to make a story and folded up into a little book.
I had no idea he was going to do this. To have my little 8 year-old drawings look like a finished book was the best thing I’d ever seen. It made a huge impression on me—I was an illustrator at age 8!
So, the point to all this is that you never know how even a small gesture will help nurture a creative talent.
I’m sure Jack had no idea of the impression he was going to make on me. But here I am, some years later still pursuing art. And in this busy, blogging, facebooking world, let’s not forget to spend a little time to mentor our little ones.
You want to know the best part of the story? Jack just found my blog by accident and bought this painting, entitled Quiet Storm.
Yes, my first mentor is still supporting me! How sweet is that! Thank you, Jack.
To learn more about Diana Mulder, please visit her art blog.