Collins donates creativity to Children’s Hospital
By GLENN MILLER
Roy Hobbs Baseball
Daryll Collins knows about more than a drawn-in infield. He can do more than a gifted control pitcher who paints the black. He is well aware that Art is more than the first name of an old-time New York Mets outfielder named Shamsky.
Collins is also an outfielder, like Shamsky. He plays for the Cincinnati Colt .45s. But it’s what he does away from the ballpark that sets him apart.
Collins, 60, is a professional cartoonist who donates time and his skills to entertaining sick kids at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. He visits and draws cartoons for them live. He creates illustrations as the kids watch the wonders of a talented artist conjure up something just for them. He said the children are often amazed and ask how he does it so fast.
But he knows something else about his encounters with sick kids, many of whom are profoundly ill.
“It can be difficult at times,” Collins said.
There have been times after meeting an ill child, Collins said, that when he reached his car afterward he had to “get my bearings” before he could drive.
But he keeps going back and sharing his gift with kids, showing them the magic of cartooning.
“I guess I get more out of this program than the kids do,” said Collins, who has been doing this charity work for a little more than a year.
An example of his magic was posted Aug. 24 on Facebook, on both his personal page and also on the Drawn to Help Facebook page. Drawn to Help is a Columbus, NC-based national organization that provides cartoonists a chance to help sick children.
In that August post, Collins, wearing jeans and what looks like a workman’s or lumberjack shirt, stands at an easel with a large blank white page in the Seacrest Studio at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Collins explains in the posted video that he’s been asked to draw a bronco kicking a soccer ball. Then, in just a few minutes, after numerous squeaks of his pen, a bronco springs to life on that formerly blank piece of white paper.
At one point as he draws, Collins said, “Top of the head here.”
This magical ability to create art where none existed before is what Collins does for kids when he visits them in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It’s challenging charity work in more ways than the actual drawing.
“They keep me on my toes,” Collins said.
He doesn’t know what the next request for a live cartoon might be. It might be a bronco kicking a soccer ball, as mentioned above. It might be a jellyfish. Whatever the request, Collins tries to interact with the kids.
“I try to keep it engaging,” Collins said.
The program does more than provide instruction and a chance to see real professionals create cartoons in front of the children. Collins said each child they visit receives a free art kit.
But nothing might be better for the kids than seeing the conjuring magic act of a cartoonist creating an illustration out of nothing but a blank sheet of paper and a pen.
That’s Daryll Collins’ gift to his new teammates, the kids at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.