'Be the nice kid:' N.S. artist's painting of inspirational quote goes viral
Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:53PM ADT
A Nova Scotia artist says she is shocked by the power of social media and positivity after her latest work of art caught the attention of people around the world.
Tiffany Barrett has painted several inspirational quotes on the walls of Digby Elementary School. She found the inspiration for her most recent painting on Pinterest and then shared a photo of the painted wall on Facebook.
Within days, her post, which encourages students to "be the nice kid," had been shared thousands of times on social media, and even caught the attention of the quote’s original author in the United States.
“I’ve had messages, I think, as far as Singapore and Hong Kong, and I’ve had messages from all over the United States, principals, teachers, and parents, and grandparents, just thanking me for spreading this message,” says Barrett, who is a crossing guard by day.
“Everything she does is with the best interest of students of heart, so it’s been absolutely fantastic having her come in, show her talent, spread that with the students, and be an inspiration for them as well,” says Jonathan Ettinger, the principal at Digby Elementary School.
About a week after she posted the photo to social media, Barrett received a message form the quote’s author, Bryan Skavnak, who lives in Minneapolis. He says he is thrilled by the outpouring of support for the quote.
“I think it’s just awesome that kids get to see it every day. There’s so much other stuff going on that any sort of positivity that kids can kind of get hammered home to them, I think it’s awesome,” says Skavnak.
Skavnak says the quote comes from a letter he wrote to his golf students in 2011.
“I wrote a letter back to them when they were going to school that fall, just basically saying, hey, you know what, it’s important that you listen to your teachers, it’s important that you listen to your parents,” explains Skavnak.
“At the end of the day we’re all equal, and if kids can just be a bit kinder together, it would be a lot better place, and gosh, if these words help at all in any way, then that’s a great thing and I guess I’ve done my job,” says Barrett.
She says she’s already planning her next inspirational work of art.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Suzette Belliveau