Published on Thursday, December 8, 2016 by Gail Finch
Creativity is in every aspect of life, whether we want to admit it or not. Art teacher Samantha Bennett understands that concept well, by taking creativity and making a living with it, but also incorporating it into her everyday life. Whether it be a doodle on a random piece of paper, or her entire wedding, creativity plays an important role in her life.
In the spirit of Pokemon and the love for his soon-to-be wife, Bennett’s husband Kris Karli proposed to her in the nerdiest way possible, carefully constructing and coordinating an elaborate proposal in the name of love.
“All of a sudden, there were high school kids in my classroom saying their names over and over again like ‘Travis, Travis!’,” Bennett said. “I didn’t even blink and asked ‘oh, you’re talking like a Pokemon?’ and then they kept piling in and blocked off the exits.”
Once the exits were blocked off, her husband-to-be recreated Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum’s hat turning sequence, threw Pokeballs at her, and ordered one of her friends to ‘attack’ her.
“He threw a little Great Ball, it bounced around a little bit,” Bennett said. “He asked again and they gave the same response, my other good friend Jennifer was then prompted to use ‘scratch’ on me, so she just kind of waved her hands at me. He comes out, turns his hat around again, gets down on one knee, pulls out a Master Ball, and inside the Master Ball is a ring that was part ruby part, diamond and has the blue and green gemstones for the health in the experience, and that’s when he asked me to marry him.”
They planned their own wedding which allowed them to express themselves in a creative way that involved the wedding party and guests.
“We had Harry Potter themed outfits for our wedding, I had a Hufflepuff tutor inspired gown with the crinoline and couldn’t walk through doors because the hoops were so big, and my husband had a floor length, velvet, black, Slytherin coat with a green lapel and the black velvet. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen were able to express themselves at our wedding, which was very important to us too.”
Unlike traditional weddings, there was no set dress code and everyone was able to show their personality. This was the basis of the newlywed’s relationship.
“We didn’t want to say ‘You are wearing a purple dress and pink shoes and that’s what you get’,” Bennett said. “We wanted everybody to get into it and bring their own creativity to the wedding.”
Creativity isn’t just a part of Bennett’s personal life as she has made a career out of helping others find their own creative paths.
“I went to college to teach English, but in my freetime I am an artist,” Bennett said, “I go to various conventions and other things and I sell my art.”
While she does sell her art on the side and has a degree in English, Bennett went on to teach art and technology in Crockett and eventually ended up at Bryan High.
“My husband was in his interview with Crockett ISD and I went with him to keep him company and he talked about me,” Bennett said. “Then they dragged me into the office and they asked me if I would like to teach art and technology. They offered me a job right then and there, so I got both of those certifications that year and fell in love with teaching art.”
Experiencing the creativity in everything and allowing students to express themselves in their own unique way is something that Bennett wants to instill in her students.
“When I was in college, I would draw pictures in the margins of my notes and I remembered the answer to the question in my notes because of the picture I drew there,” Bennett said. “Art has always helped me express things. Becoming better at expressing things and teaching students to become better at expressing things in a visual manner is wonderful and makes life easier.”
Other than drawing on her notes, Bennett learned from a young age that she could sell her creativity to all who wanted it, earning money off of her pieces at conventions and things of the like.
“One thing that has been interesting for me is as when I was growing up my mom was a florist,” Bennett said. “She made jewelry and just about anything she could sell. She didn’t have very good health so she couldn’t have a regular job, so I learned at a young age to survive off of being creative.”
Despite the money that comes with being a teacher, Bennett still sells her art to people at conventions and other events .
“Selling my art is not as important to my survival as it was for my mom because I have a regular job,” Bennett said. “There’s just something about being able to buy a pizza off of money from something that you created just warms your soul.”