How do you charge your creative "batteries"?
Well, for me there is one easy way: connect with kids.
On most days, I am busy in my studio creating books and films--but when I am lucky enough to break free and venture into schools--I experience the joy of "connecting the dots" with my audience. (Well, half of them anyway, as I try to create my picture books for all ages.)
Schools usually have me do several assemblies where I speak to a few hundred students at a time which I enjoy immensely, but it is after the "big show" is over when I get to connect with kids in an informal way. Some teachers let their kids linger a bit and they get a chance to connect. They bubble with enthusiasm, rattling off comments and asking questions. Timid kids get their chance to share with me. Their insights always delight and inspire me. It is amazing what they pick and what resonates with them. It is a reminder to me that kids are philosophers and deep thinkers. Some are comedians. They are creatives. Idea generators. Poets.
I was at St. Peter's School in Lincoln, Nebraska where the photo above was taken. I was swarmed with kids and tried to connect with each student the best I could. One student asked me:
"How old are you?"
I paused trying to think of a clever answer.
A bright eyed lad named Nicholas jumped in to answer for me.
"You are as kind as when you were a child, as nice as you are now--and as wise as you will be in the future."
Stunned--I just smiled--and said, "Yup--you guessed it."