When I was in 7th grade, something remarkable happened that changed my life in a wonderful way. An amazing teacher, Jim Matson, pulled me aside for drawing in class, instead of paying attention. Rather than scolding me, Mr. Matson asked me to try a project, tapping into art and storytelling to help other students understand a math concept.
Dizzy with excitement, I ran off to make a comic book. I cracked open the dense math text book and saw, for the first time, that these numbers were only ways of quantifying things and actions. Things and actions I could see and put to paper. When I brought in the completed project, Mr. Matson didn't just see a comic book, but also a storyboard. "You've got the beginnings of an animated film if you're interested." A few months later, I had finished my first animated film designed to teach. And now I do the same professionally through my stories, films and the company I founded, FableVision.
My journey has been dedicated to helping kids, especially the "off the path" kids. I was one of them myself. Not every student is lucky enough to have a teacher, or adult, see his or her potential.
When I visit students in schools they ask me what my hobbies are. I say thinking, dreaming. If my art and stories can help inspire others to do the same, I'll feel my life had meaning.