One day I had just finished teaching a library class when one of our regular patrons came up to me with a camera and asked if he could take my picture. I said yes but immediately wondered, “Why?” Smiling for the camera, I asked, “Why are you taking my picture?” He smiled as he replied, “For your portrait.”

Ah…the clues came together. I had seen portraits of coworkers popping up on desks. Not too many days later a pencil and charcoal drawing of my face appeared on my desk. I was amazed at his skill, especially that he had even captured my expression. (You know, the “why are you taking my picture?” expression). He also caught the one wonky curl I usually have.

Two of my student volunteers were also impressed. He drew their portraits and another of me as well. I love that he draws for sheer love of it, and I consider it a beautiful gift of time and talent. Guangyu Liu likes to draw smiling faces and is willing to draw yours! Contact him at liugyxf@cox.net if you’d like to have him draw your portrait, but be prepared: it will be lifelike (which might include dark circles under eyes and wrinkles).

Heather Nitzel is the Crestview Public Library's youth services librarian.