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Illustrator inspires WDC Elementary students to draw and dream

Photo by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools Carrie Hartman shows students how to draw "Louis," a character from a book she illustrated.1 / 3
Hartman shows students one of her illustrations and explained the process of first drawing the character in pencil, then adding color using chalk or pencils.2 / 3
WDC second-grade students enjoyed learning how to draw an animated character.3 / 3

Illustrator Carrie Hartman spent a day last week with Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary students, teaching them how to draw one of her book characters, as well as inspiring them to "dream big."

As part of the kickoff for "I Love to Read Month" at WDC Elementary, Hartman shared with students her love of drawing and reading. Hartman told students she started drawing when she was only 3 years old.

"I used draw so much, my fingers bled," recalled Hartman. "I had a passion to draw early on and I knew I wanted to work for Disney someday. That's why one of my themes when I talk to students is to 'Dream Big' because dreams do matter."

Hartman read to students one of the books she's illustrated, "My Mouth is a Volcano," by Julia Cook. Then, students got a chance to learn from Hartman how to draw Louis, the main character in the book. Following Hartman's step-by-step instructions, students drew Louis and were very proud of their illustrations.

Hartman lives in Woodbury with her husband and four children. She teaches illustration classes at an area college and is currently working on writing and illustrating a new children's book called "Rocket Pants." She told students her 2-year-old son inspired her to write the book. Hartman gave students a sneak peak of her new book, and by the reaction of the students, they found the book quite entertaining.

Hartman visited with grades 2-5 on Thursday, Feb. 3 in the media center. Loni Niles, media center director, coordinated the visit.