Isaac Bird prepares for his senior art exhibition

Artist and scholar: Issac Bird stands in an artistic environment. Bird has been on the honor roll for most of his college career. 

Haleigh McDonald

If you mention the name Isaac Bird to students or faculty members at Washburn a majority of them will most likely smile and say something like “Isaac is quite the character” and after meeting him. They are exactly right.

Bird will be graduating this spring semester with the accomplishment of being on the president’s honor roll for most of his four years at Washburn and he plans on going to graduate school to become an art professor. Bird discovered and crafted his many talents and passions like sports, playing guitar and piano and most importantly art during his years of homeschool. He gives a lot of credit to his mom, dad, younger sister and coaches for shaping him into an outgoing, confident, caring and hard-working person and he appreciates the fact that they have always accepted him and encouraged him to do what he loves, which is teach art.

“There wasn’t really ever any pressure for me to be a specific way,” said Bird. “I’m very confident and secure in being however I want to be.”

Being homeschooled allowed Bird to focus on the things he truly loves like drawing and writing poems, but it has also given him a special perspective on life.  

“It’s super easy to be a good person, be nice, take care of people, be funny and be kind. Driving a cool car and dressing nice, that’s what people think is cool, but I feel like that is way less cool than making people happy,” said Bird. 

This insight is the main reason why he wants to teach art to students, because he can bring a unique viewpoint to teaching and changing students’ lives. He wants to inspire students to find what makes them happy and prioritize spreading kindness to the people around them.

One of Bird’s biggest inspirations is Washburn art professor Ben Wills.

“He [Wills] is everything I want to be like. He is an artist and a musician and a really powerful educator and he is super energetic and supportive of students,” said Bird.

Professor Wills thinks similarly of Bird.

“Isaac is a very ambitious student and very fun to have in the classroom. His relentless and punishing optimism and enthusiasm will make him an inspiring guy to be around so art education is kind of perfect for him,” said Wills.

Isaac’s senior art showcase will be in the art building Monday Nov. 11 to Nov. 22 and he said you can expect to see inspiring narrative pieces of art and poetry.

“Every drawing, every poem that I make is like me releasing energy back into the world that I’ve gathered from my community. I am a product of my community, so everything I make is from them and for them” said Bird.

Community is the most important thing to Bird, that is why he chose to study art at Washburn.

“The community at Washburn has completely changed who I am and who I want to be and has shaped me. It’s always been about people for me and Washburn has good people,” said Bird.

Bird’s constant positivity, kindness and involvement around Washburn’s campus is what helped him earn the title as 2019 Top Bod.  

“I think about them announcing my name and I swear I just laugh. That’s so wild I never dreamed of being Top Bod. It’s a really cool feeling, it was humbling that my university thinks I’m worthy of such an honor,” said Bird.

Isaac wants to encourage people to come to his art show and give him a high five or come talk to him if you see him around campus.

“Get out there and spend some time doing something you love today or tomorrow, I would appreciate it personally,” said Bird.

Edited by Adam White, Jessica Galvin, Abbie Barth