It all started with an apple in a Japanese class journal. 

As we get older, the memories of our school years may begin to slowly fade, but our favourite teachers remain ingrained in our minds forever. In Japan, the lasting impact of one kind teacher recently made news after coloured pencil artist Yuichiro Abe shared this tweet online.

The image on the left above shows a sketch drawn by Abe in his class journal when he was a third-year junior high school student. The class journal, which is handed over to the homeroom teacher for periodical checks, has sections for writing notes and reminders, and in the section for messages, Abe wrote “らくがき”, which translates to “graffiti” or “scribble“.

▼ The image that appears here is far from a scribble, though–it’s a beautifully sketched, perfectly proportioned illustration of an apple.

The red circles around the apple are the markings of the teacher, and in Japan–where circles indicate good work, akin to a tick signifying a correct answer in the West–the more circles there are, the better the work, which means Abe’s self-described “scribble” received recognition equivalent to a gold star.

That’s not the only acknowledgement Abe received, though, as the teacher drew an arrow towards the image with this heartwarming note for the student:

“This is extremely skilful!! I want you to take good care of this talent as well.”

This touching message obviously meant a lot to Abe, who shared the image on Twitter, saying:

“Teacher, I’m still drawing!”

As proof, the now-19-year-old, who’s currently a first-year beauty school student, shared this more recent photo alongside his junior high school drawing.

The talented artist now adds even more sparkle to his fruit sketches with the addition of shiny gems, like the garnet seen on the cherries above. Given that Abe is now following a dream to enter the beauty industry, it’s nice to see that the teacher’s message to keep nurturing this talent “as well” is one that the student has taken to heart, because it would be a shame for talent this good to be put away on a dusty shelf and forgotten about forever.

The teacher’s message tugged at the heartstrings of people online, with the tweet receiving over 280,000 likes and loads of adoring comments.

“This brought a tear to my eye!”
“Teachers like this can be life-changing.”
“What a wonderful teacher to heap praise on a sketch in a journal instead of telling the student to draw it somewhere else.”
“Great teachers know how to nurture the individual talents of their students.” 
“I wish I had a teacher to encourage me like this when I was a student!”

While Abe doesn’t mention whether he’s still in touch with his junior high school teacher or not, they would no doubt be pleased to see their former student heeding their advice to take good care of their talent.

And Abe is taking his talent to new levels too, branching out to include bejewelled animals, one of which was even selected to appear on a Japanese postage stamp last month.

It looks like the sky’s the limit for this talented student, who’s not only setting out to pursue his dreams in the beauty world but the art world as well. To keep up to date with his new works, be sure to give him a follow on Twitter and Instagram, and if you’d like to see another artist whose talent blossomed after junior high, this pro artist’s before-and-after images will take your breath away.

Source: Twitter/@erumo_03844 via Net Lab
Images: Twitter/@erumo_0384
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