My Little Mermaid

When I was eight years old I lived in Hollywood, California on a Movie Camp. That in itself is a LONG story but to put it simply, my father was producing a movie (an 80’s teenager in trouble sort of movie). I did actually meet a few actors, one that I still remember is Robin Lively, the red head from I believe the third Karate kid. She was really nice, so nice my little brother fell in love with her, at six, he was sure she would be his girlfriend. LOL
She was actually in the movie my father was working on, which never did end up getting produced. Too bad because I’m actually in it!!!! Haha…okay well maybe that is a good thing.

Well during production my father also met one of the animators of a soon to be released Disney cartoon you just may have heard of called The Little Mermaid, Glen Keane. I was an aspiring artist at the time and drawing relentlessly. I even carried around my little box of colored pencils and pens with me everywhere drawing pictures and portraits for people on the spot. It was my way of sharing something with people. Well my father told Glen about me, to this day I’m not sure what he said, except that I loved drawing and mermaids. Both very true facts. Perhaps my Dad showed him a few of my drawings, which I’m sure would have warranted a few chuckles, I liked to exaggerate in my creations. if I perceived someone as fast, they might have three to four legs, and I loved to create made up animals. My favorite was an ostrich-lama, which I drew all the time in hopes that I could cause suspect about their existence. Well Glen, was touched for some reason and quickly sketched the above drawing of the character “Ariel” The Little Mermaid, and dedicated it to me, with a verse from the Bible.

I remember when my father brought it home for me that night and I saw it for the first time. First of all I was stunned with the fact I was actually getting a present but also I thought it was the most beautiful drawing I had seen…and the fact that it had MY NAME written on it made it the most valuable treasure I owned. I quickly procured the help of my Mother in putting it in a frame. The best frame in the house. I hung it high on my bedroom wall and would just stare in awe at the special drawing that was created just for me. I studied every detail of it.
I remember thinking, Glen gave me that verse…it’s for me. I then immediately rushed to go look it up in a Bible….I was so excited to see what special secret message it said for me…

James 1:17….“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Ooooh and that was for me. This “Gift” was for me and I really wanted my art to be my gift as well. That drawing as simple as it was, to me was from the biggest celebrity there could be, a REAL artist working for Disney!
It still hangs on my wall in the original frame snagged from my childhood home. It has been sitting above my drafting table looking over me through every portrait and drawing I have created. The gift, the drawing, and the message it holds, influence me to this day.

I believe simple words of encouragement at key times in our lives have the biggest impact. There is a lot of power in a kind word or a simple gift even. Especially a gift that can leave a fingerprint on a spirit. It left a finger print on mine.

So “Thank You” Glen Keane. …and to any aspiring artists just remember the same words from James 1:17 and may they bring you encouragement and happiness too. Keep sharing your gift you just never know who it will encourage!

- Carrie Jackson

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