Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Nice Cat (An amazing story of encouragement for artistic creativity)

Take 19 minutes and watch this fantastic TEDtalk: “Jarrett J. Krosoczka: How a boy became an artist.” When you do, you’ll understand why the simple phrase, “Nice cat” had such power in the life of a young third grader named Jarrett.

Since attending TEDxOU together last Friday, my wife has been enjoying TEDtalks via both Netflix and the web. She shared this one with me tonight. It particularly resonated with me because:

  1. Our 9 year old daughter continues to absolutely burst with creative, artistic gifts, but I see her challenged increasingly now in 3rd grade to spend time doing worksheets and studying for spelling tests in the evening instead of drawing and writing stories.
  2. I’m extremely passionate about encouraging teachers to view computers in the hands of students not as arcades (a.k.a. PacMan-like experiences) but instead as IMAGINATION MACHINES and bridges to creativity. (Reference: Mapping Media to the Common Core: What Do You Want to CREATE Today?)
  3. I am completely captivated by the power of student voice and the need to empower student writers to view themselves as authors and creators, with IMPORTANT voices that deserve to be heard.
  4. I’m passionate about encouraging others to publish their work as ebooks and share their ideas with the world.

Check out this TEDtalk. Jarrett Krosoczka rocks. Then check out Jarrett’s website ( Then go to your local library and check out as many of his picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books as you can carry out legally.

Picture books by Jarrett Krosoczka

Rachel’s words about the importance of art teachers when she was in 1st grade ring in my ears as I listen to Jarrett talk about the life-saving role art and art teachers had in his life growing up. Praise God for art teachers and teachers who encourage students “do art” in the face of politicians and testing companies who continue to perpetuate the lie that education and learning is primarily about fear and bubble sheets.

Long live Art Snacks.

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One response to “Nice Cat (An amazing story of encouragement for artistic creativity)”

  1. Jaimee Stern Avatar
    Jaimee Stern

    Thanks for sharing this video and taking the time to write this post. It minded me of a commencement speech given by Neil Gaiman last year at The College of Arts. One part of the speech that I found really inspiring was when he said,
    “Remember, whatever discipline you’re in, whether you’re a musician or a
    photographer, a fine artist or a cartoonist, a writer, a dancer, a
    singer, a designer — whatever you do, you have one thing that’s unique:
    You have the ability to make art. And for me, and for so many of the
    people I’ve known, that’s been a lifesaver, the ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times,
    and it gets you through … the other ones. Sometimes life is hard.
    Things go wrong — in life and in love and in business and in friendship
    and in health and in all the other ways life can go wrong. And when
    things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art.
    I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg
    crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on
    your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Someone on the
    Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been
    done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow,
    eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter.
    Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days,
    make it on the good days, too.”

    Here’s the full speech if you or your readers are interested: