South Jersey teacher turns classroom art into new career

The Upper Township resident says sports not only helped connect him with his students but it also reignited an old passion.

Jamie Apody Image
Thursday, August 25, 2022
South Jersey teacher turns classroom art into new career
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The Upper Township, New Jersey resident says sports not only helped connect him with his students but it also reignited an old passion.

UPPER TWP., New Jersey (WPVI) -- If you were one of the lucky students in Tim Smith's class, you were treated to a masterpiece every day.

"I've always enjoyed art but never really saw a future for it," Smith says. "I went to school to be a teacher, and seven years ago I picked up a pencil again and started drawing and really enjoyed it. So I decided to bring it into my classroom."

The Upper Township, New Jersey resident says sports not only helped connect him with his students but it also reignited an old passion.

"I had a lot of Phillies fans in my group so I was trying to think of something that they'd be excited about and see the process throughout the way," he says. "So I did Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola, and the Phillie Phanatic. That came out pretty cool."

And his drawings took off from there.

"I like to move quickly when I'm drawing. I feel like if I'm overthinking it won't come out as good, so I'm constantly moving," he said.

Smith played baseball at Arcadia University before becoming a teacher.

"I did find that after playing college baseball and my athletic career was over, I felt like I was missing something. I feel like art has filled that void a little bit," he says.

So much so that he has now left the classroom to devote himself to his art full time.

Unlike his chalkboard art, his paintings are permanent fixtures -- hanging in restaurants and galleries.

Smith says his chalkboard art would always get erased, but he didn't mind.

"The funny thing is I kind of like it, not that I like to get rid of it, but just knowing that I can create another one," he said.

And he can create anything -- even our very own Jim Gardner.

Click here to learn more about Tim Smith's work.