#CreativeKids30 | My Journey with CreativeKids – Heiken To

To celebrate CreativeKids’ 30th anniversary, members of our team are sharing their personal and work stories with the Creative Community – to tell you why we love what we do!

Heiken To is our Art Instructor and Research Assistant.

About Me

Hi, I’m Heiken! Ever since I was a child I have loved to draw and paint. I also love to play the piano and think about things in life. I am a child of God.

How I entered the art education field

I used to be a student at CreativeKids. After obtaining my degree in Psychology and Counseling, I was offered the amazing opportunity to work here. It was somewhere that I knew and loved since I was young, and somewhere that I could contribute my knowledge from my education.

Young Heiken focusing on his architectural masterpiece!

At CreativeKids, what makes me the happiest is…

Authentic connections and shared experiences with children and colleagues. Whether it be going through the creative process with children, listening to children sharing about their daily lives, or discussing ways to teach with colleagues, I always get a sense of authenticity in these interactions.

It is also a blessing and an encouragement to witness how children grow and develop over time.

My favorite memories at CreativeKids

Definitely the moments of laughter. It’s usually silly things like a teacher pretending to chew on a piece of cork board disguised as a biscuit, or me accidentally drooling on my artwork as a student, because I was so absorbed in the art-making process.

My growth at CreativeKids

This place has taught me a lot. At the end of each day, I always ask myself whether I am treating children and colleagues with love and wisdom.

Especially in front of children, we are role models. Things like patience, selflessness, humility, being considerate… there is no faking it when you’re interacting with children everyday. It must come from the heart.

As an art-lover it is all too easy to be perfectionistic, and doesn’t a bit of perfectionism always seem to leak into our lives? It’s easy to be harsh on our own flaws and insecurities, but the “happy mistakes” mentality, along with the grace of people around me, has taught me that it is alright to make a mistake. We can always learn a lesson, be kind to ourselves and those around us, and move on.

There is still a lot for me to learn but I am enjoying the process.

To me, “Constructive Creativity” means…

Novel, empathic and principled ideas, actions or products that bring about positive impacts.

On CreativeKids’ 30th Birthday

I wish for CreativeKids to continue to bring fun and positive impacts to children and their families.

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