Back in January 2011 I walked into my first illustration class. It was with my favorite professor, but I didn't know that yet. I didn't know that my classes with her would revolutionize my style, and teach me a huge range of techniques and skills. I knew that most of the other students didn't like her, and I knew that she wasn't known for being the nicest professor around. So I sat in my desk, close to the front, but not on the first row. I wasn't that bold yet. And we were handed an assignment. The assignment included was to illustrate a nursery rhyme. Sing a song of sixpence A pocket full of rye Four and twenty blackbirds Baked in a pie But we had to illustrate the nursery rhyme with a pirate theme, because the printed assignment also included a webpage that claimed that "Sing a Song of Sixpence" was a recruiting poem for the infamous pirate, Blackbeard. This sounded a little far fetched to me, but the source was Snopes so I figured it was true. Then I looked it up. It wasn't true. Not even a little. Snopes made it up. Did I go and tell my favorite professor? No, of course not. Remember, she wasn't my favorite professor yet, and I wasn't even bold enough to sit on the front row. I wasn't about to tell her she was wrong. Instead, I didn't include any pirates in my illustration. I did this instead: Favorite professor liked it, even without the pirates. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, winter 2015. I decided it was time to go back to my roots. Not just my college roots, but my first ever read-to-me-and-I'll-memorize-every-word-you-say roots. Because I know all the nursery rhymes. I think I knew them before I could talk, but who can say for sure. (I couldn't.) So I pulled out the nursery rhymes, and low and behold the blackbirds started flying out of the pie all over again. [caption id="attachment_1398" align="alignnone" width="530"] Step One: Cut out lots of tiny birds.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1399" align="alignnone" width="800"] Step Two: Glue them to a beautiful piece of wood.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1400" align="alignnone" width="800"] Step Three: Paint the pie first because pies are the most fun. Also, don't forget to paint the birds.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1401" align="alignnone" width="581"] Step Three: Add in some tiny birds because 24 paper cut outs was just too many too fit on that little piece of wood. Ta-da![/caption] Thus an old school assignment comes around again and turns out very well, even without the misplaced reference to pirates. P.S. To any other past professors who might be reading this: You were probably also my favorite.