When I was in primary school the teachers were very keen to let you express yourself. Each Friday afternoon after the last break, we were allowed to do whatever we wanted - draw, read, do your homework, whatever.
I loved it as I used to draw maps of countries, draw flags or try and copy pictures from books. The odd time I used to read (mainly because I found a Ghost Story book that shouldn't have been in the school and then hid it each week from other prying eyes). Also at Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas and other such holidays (even after Summer) we would draw pictures of the events or make things and have them hung around the school.
One Christmas after being bored of drawing the same old stable scene that everyone else draws every year, I decided to draw something different. I made a storyboard of the Christmas story from Mary and Joseph heading to Bethlehem right through to them legging it to Egypt. The storyboard was about 20 -25 cells but each picture was a silhouette rather than full content. I just thought it was better looking for what I wanted, but also because I was allowed to use a black pen for the drawings rather than use pencil, markers and crayons like everyone else.
It turned out really well - if I do say so myself - and was hung in a prominent position in the school and looked good. The shadow effect made it look better and there were no words on the pictures which added to it. The teachers loved it and some of the lads in the class thought it was cool.
And so it came to Easter. I thought that I would do the same sort of thing but rather than tell the story of Easter I would take one part of the story and make another shadow-effect drawing. I had to choose a part of the story that on-one else would draw. No one could see it until I was finished and I was left at it. On Holy Thursday I gave the drawing to the teacher very happy with the outcome except she didn't think so.
Most others drew Jesus rising from the dead or the stone removed from the tomb with the chicks chilling outside. Some drew the Last Supper or the lads all having a hooliy on the Mount of Olives.
I drew Judas hanging himself with the pieces of silver on the ground and had only Judas in the picture. I got a rap on the knuckles with a ruler and was given out to by the teacher. The picture was sent home to my parents with a note attached saying they weren't happy bunnies about the picture.
Needless to say the picture wasn't hung up and was never talked about again. I was 10 at the time. And you know something? I'd draw it again if went back in ages. I just think that sometimes you have to let children's minds wander, explore and use their imagination. There is too much conforming today and less individuality.
Or maybe not. Either way, I don't care and it is one of the pictures that I am most proud of even though I won prizes for other pics.