How to Encourage Little Minds & Hands

How to Encourage Little Minds & Hands

 “I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” Vincent van Gogh


Back in high school, I sure didn’t receive any love from my art teacher. The “C” scrawled on my report card should’ve been my first clue. The teacher then had the audacity to tell me I didn’t have an artistic bone in my body.


My drawings and paintings weren’t too shabby. Heck, I even patted myself on the back with her yardstick.

Unfortunately, her poisonous words crushed my creative spirit, and I tossed my sketch pad aside for twenty-two years.

“Words kill, words give life, they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.” Prov. 18:21

Why am I sharing this?

Well…I don’t want this to happen to other little minds and hands.

What can I do?

I’ve created a page on my blog,—Mindful Masterpieces, where I’ll showcase children’s artwork.

Today, I’m thrilled to share eight-year-old, Joplyn’s colorful rendition of one of my drawings that I’ve made available for kids to download and color.

Joplyn’s Mindful Masterpiece

Krista, Joplyn’s mom, left me this uplifting comment,

“My daughter and I enjoyed your “Kids’ Corner” web page very much. Joplyn has a surprise for you. She is also wondering if you do art work of families, and/or of dogs and cats. Perhaps a little personalized piece for us? Maybe a Christmas ornament? These are Joplyn’s ideas.”

Joplyn finds it difficult to concentrate, yet, she sat long enough to scour my website, and then she tore the house apart looking for markers and crayons to create her masterpiece.

When I received Joplyn’s amazing artwork, I burst into tears. Just thinking about it, tears sting my eyes.

Thank you, Joplyn! You are one talented, young lady. 🙂

If you want to make me cry again, read my poem on my “Hi Kids!” web page with your child, and then help them download my “Bee Happy” illustration.

Once that’s done, encourage those little hands to color, doodle, or scribble on the drawing. Your child can also choose a creation of their own.

Help your child submit a JPEG of their Mindful Masterpiece, but be sure to include their first name, age, and a couple of sentences about who or what inspires them. Address their submission to me,—Miss Tracy at I will then add their artwork to my Mindful Masterpiece Page for all to view.

I hope my attempt to shower little minds with praise will encourage and cultivate their God-given talent. That’s when I’ll know my horrible experience was worth it.

“Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.” Prov. 16:24

And just wait until you cast your gaze upon the Mindful Masterpieces I’ve got tucked away. I’m so….excited, I can barely sit still long enough to write this post. 🙂

Happy coloring, Kids!

 Miss Tracy


Inspirational Link

When Did Your Creative Spark Ignite?





23 Responses

  1. What a wonderful thing you are doing here, Tracy! I, too, had my spirit crushed by a teacher. Because of her unkind words, I didn’t pursue creative writing in college – something I wish now I could go back and change. Bravo to you for cheering people on. And Joplyn (whose name I love, BTW) is a very talented young lady! That is beautiful art work 🙂

  2. There are way too many of us who have had their spirits crushed, so this is just some small way I can help.

    Joplyn, if you read this post, please tell us how you got such a beautiful name?

    Thanks for your encouragement, Susanna! 🙂

  3. It’s hard for me to imagine how closed-minded your teacher must have been to think you didn’t have a creative bone in your body. Clearly it wasn’t true.

    I’m so glad Joplyn and her mom shared Joplyn’s artwork with us 🙂 Keep up the good work, Joplyn!

    • I’m sure there’s a high percentage of people who’ve experienced a similar situation. Sad, but true.
      Thanks for commenting, Marcy. 🙂

  4. Not fair to have a child crushed……….I think all of us have been damaged by words at one point or another….hopefully we remember how that moment felt before we speak in haste…….can I submit my drawings too……….I can be very childlike ! <3

    • Yes, we need to be slow to speak. I knew I should have added a disclaimer. No adults allowed. Hope I didn’t crush your spirit, Terrol. 🙂

  5. What a gracious soul you are! Every time I read about one of these nasty, clueless teachers, it makes me so mad… Thank God you have found a way to use evil for good. Be blessed! 😉

    • Maybe they were having a bad year. LOL. Good always prevails. Thanks again for the blessings, you’ve made my day, Eliz. 🙂

  6. What a great idea! This is a cute picture that Joplyn has colored. I’ll download it for my kids.
    I love the Scripture you shared. That’s too bad your teacher crushed your spirit, but I’m happy you’re uplifting others!

  7. Tina, I’m thrilled that you’ll download the drawing. I can’t wait to see your kids rendition!
    And my spirit isn’t crushed anymore. Thanks so much for your comments.

  8. Your drawing is lovely! Awe… childhood! Kids do amazing things, don’t they? One of my cousins is a school teacher. I help her at noon with the kids food, LOL. ( breakfast and lunch are included, yes)

    P.S.: a christian school (and several churches) started a school project (if you will) and are, currently, sponsoring 44 four-year-olds. “Pilot” started in September. These kids were chosen amongst the poorest and will receive top-quality education until they graduate from high school.

    • That’s wonderful that you able to help out with the kids. And what an amazing opportunity for those four-year-old children. My hearts sings when I hear that kind of news.
      Thanks so much for commenting, Ines! 🙂

  9. Sorry it took me almost a month to read this post, Tracy…I saved it because I knew from the title that it was something special! This is such a wonderful idea…MOST of us had the spark of creativity extinguished by a parent, teacher or older sibling. And once you begin to doubt yourself, it is so very hard to regain that enthusiastic momentum of early childhood. This is powerful, Tracy…I love it!!!!

    • Hi Vivian,
      No need to apologize. I know exactly how busy we all are. I’m just glad you took the time to leave such brilliant comments. :)Thank you!

  10. It’s so sad those things that crush us as children — and I think about that for my own, and wonder if they will tell me when they’re feeling crushed. I hope so.

    This is such a gift to kids – thank you! I just tweeted. 🙂

    • Thank you, Melissa for dropping in and for leaving your heartfelt comments. It is sad when a child’s spirit is crushed. Even though it took a long time to get over that, I was able to because I had an amazing friend who encouraged and built my self-esteem back up. Keeping the lines of communication open with your child is the key. Thank you so much for tweeting my post. I still have yet to get on twitter or Facebook. Have a wonderful day! 🙂