My Inspirational Teacher: by illustrator Nick Sharratt
As part of our My Inspirational Teacher series we talk to Nick Sharratt, the English children’s author and illustrator. Nick has drawn some fantastic illustrations for our #UpForSchool Teacher’s Pack, which you can download here.
Who was the teacher, or person, who really mattered in your life?
I’ve always loved drawing and from my earliest days I knew I wanted to earn my living as an artist when I grew up. But without the encouragement of my parents I’m absolutely certain it would have been much harder to achieve that goal.
I’m not from an artistic background but my Mum and Dad’s pride in my work gave me real confidence about my talents. I got support at school too (and I loved my days at primary school ) but I can’t say there was any one teacher who was particularly influential.
What was great, though, was that I had a defined role to play within the classroom – I was the artist and my teachers and classmates respected me for that.
What did they say or do to make them so special?
Right from when I was barely out of nappies, Mum and Dad could see how much drawing meant to me. They gave me lots of paper and art materials to play with, took a real interest in my endeavours and gently nudged me to join art clubs and enter drawing competitions.
They fully supported my decision to go to art college when other artists I know had more of a battle with their parents about embarking on such an insecure profession
What was the moment you realised they were influential to you?
There was no one moment in particular but there is one photo that is very precious to me because it says a lot. It’s picture of me as a happy, secure six-year-old, sitting on a wooden crate in the sunshine, merrily painting picture after picture.
My Dad took the photo and I remember clearly the big tins of brightly coloured powder paint that my Mum had just bought for me.
— Nick Sharratt (@NickSharratt1) April 2, 2015
Would you have been successful without their encouragement?
I’m not sure I would have had the self-belief that’s required in my field. I might have opted for a safe career instead of pursuing my dream job.
Did you ever tell them what they meant to you?
Who in the world today would you describe as inspirational?
I think it’s fair to say that being an artist of any kind involves quite a high degree of self-absorption. My heroes are those whose careers are fully focussed on benefitting others: the best of those in professions like teaching, healthcare, social work … it’s a long list.