The other week, I received an email from James, the brother of a student from my school. James contacted me because his sister Kate had given him some advice about what he needed to do if he wanted to pursue his passion, cartooning. Kate is a student at my school, and she’d told James he needed to use the Internet to get his ideas out there. (I think she was inspired by my words as she’d just been involved with the Creative Communication camp we’d run at school.) The upshot of Kate’s advice was that James started a blog. Here was what he wrote in his first post;
This blog started when my big sister said to me, “James, you are an awesome cartoonist, if you want to be big to have to make yourself big and that is to get yourself out there!” I then realised that the internet is now the tool to get the world to know you-who you are and what you can do. So I started this blog show everyone my cartoons and to encourage you to always follow your dreams- I know, big cliche there but it’s true. If you end up having a job that you absolutly hate, then you are going to live life wasting everyday and being unhappy. BUT if you do something you love you will feel good about yourself and that you’ve lived life to the max! So here I am, talking to you about what I love, what I do and what I want to become. Hope this inspires you to go for what you love, to always try your hardest and be your best.
When I received James’ email I took a look at his blog and was impressed with his obvious passion and desire to succeed. He’d created the above YouTube video but it was there as a link and not embedded. I realised he needed a bit of help understanding the basics of blogging. I offered to help, and spent some time with James the following weekend helping him understand how you hyperlink, how you embed videos and images, how you select a theme that is in keeping with your site’s intentions and how you embed widgets in the sidebar. James’ blog now looks a lot better, and hopefully he has some skills that will hold him in good stead as he pursues his dreams by launching himself into online spaces.
Hopefully, James will continue to be inspired, discover other amateur cartoonists and forge links that help him on the path he wants to follow. What I found really interesting about my interaction with James was that he had to find a teacher outside of his own school to help him. I’m impressed that he found my gmail address and sent the email off, but once again, I’m concerned that there are not enough teachers in our schools with this kind of skill set who can help young people propel their ideas via the Web.
Hopefully you’ll take some time to visit James’ blog and leave a comment to encourage a young man on his way to a future he is helping to create.