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(A lot of) Friday Fan Art!

April 1, 2011

If I haven’t said so before, I absolutely LOVE getting all the art that fans and friends have sent to me over the years to share here on the site. Whether it is a reinterpretation of one of my own designs, or an original piece inspired by a young imagination, I am always thrilled to see creativity alive and well.

Sometimes, though, I get bowled over. Blown away. Blasted by volumes of sheer awesomeness.

And this happened when I received and ENTIRE disc of artwork from the fifth grade class at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico (yes, Mexico), Maine.

As part of my book touring, I have the privilege of visiting many elementary schools all over the country. I have seen art classrooms that would make college professors jealous, and I have seen teachers reduced to pushing around an “art cart” full of nothing more than dried-up markers and old construction paper from class to class. I was fortunate in that I had amazing art teachers all through my life that encouraged creativity regardless of whether I had oil paints and canvas at my disposal or simply a #2 pencil and paper.

Because really its all just a matter of encouraging imagination and expanding out-of-the-box thinking. And whether you’re a wiz with watercolors or can barely draw a stick man, its good to let your mind wander and explore. And we need to encourage and cultivate children to do this all throughout their childhood – not just in elementary school.

Thank you Meroby Elementary, your amazing instructors and talented students have inspired me. Keep drawing. Keep dreaming.

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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.