INSPIRED BY PURPLE flower of life
Flower of life from

I love purple! The color is a unique combination of exciting red and calming blue, so it catches the eye while offering solace to inspire creative thought.

Some color experts believe Leonardo Da Vinci disclosed the power of the hue when he declared the effects of meditation increased in purple light created by sunlight streaming through stained glass. leonardo-davinci-statue
Da Vinci statue from

Poets and writers love purple. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple won a Pulitzer Prize and it is a treat to hear Jenny Joseph read her warning, “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple.” (I love this poem so much that I still display a plaque featuring the entire work that I purchased decades ago!)

Kids love purple too. Inspired by a production of Harold and the Purple Crayon, children enrolled in the Robert and Maureen Dunham Children’s Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology created original artwork featured in Working Class: Dream & Do.

Curiosity, imagination, and an oversized crayon were all Harold needed to create his life’s adventure in Crockett Johnson’s classic tale. Written in 1955, Harold’s story remains a vehicle for philosophical discussion.

“Do people have control over the events that occur in their lies, are they purely accidental, or can they be attributed to another force?” Claire Bartholome asks in a Teaching Children Philosophy article that offers guidelines for discussing the book with youngsters.

Children at mosiac
Children celebrate in front of mural wall at Pennsylvania College of Technology

At every age, from childhood (when kids begin to draw with purple crayons) to retirement (when “old” ladies have a poet’s permission to show their eccentricities by wearing purple), individuals have opportunities to consider how actions affect circumstances.

“We’re all gifted but some people never open their package,” writes New York Times bestselling author and newspaper columnist Regina Brett. “We all have a calling, a vocation, a particular, unique talent. Your calling isn’t necessarily your job title. It might not even be written on the business card you carry, or on your job description, or on your resume. It’s more likely written on your heart.”

Written on the hearts of the producers of Working Class: Dream & Do is a desire to inspire creative thought about careers, education, and life preparation.

Combining academics (math, science, history and communication) with hands-on activities, our public media initiative encourages viewers to develop personal interests into professional goals.

The author of Harold and the Purple Crayon was a popular cartoonist and illustrator. He also created more than 100 works of art, now in the National Museum of American History, which feature geometric constructions inspired by his interest in math and science.

Like Crockett Johnson, we all are multi-dimensional humans. Our varied interests give flavor – and a touch of color – to our lives and to our quests to find fulfilling careers.

Purple art class
Penn College graphic design students work in purple glow

Purple Hearts are awarded to soldiers for valiant acts of bravery. I encourage every person who is choosing a career, or helping others find their paths, to be brave and open to following their interests, talents and passions. Add a splash of purple (creative thinking) to your conversations about careers, and you might find the courage to forge a path that will lead to real, heart-felt satisfaction.

Purple Art Challenge

I invite you – and your children, students, friends and family – to take part in Working Class’s Purple Art Challenge.

Create or select a completed original piece of artwork that incorporates the color purple.

Take a photo of the original art and share it via social media:

FACEBOOK: Post your photo along with your name, the title of your work and the hashtag #PurpleArtChallenge, to the Working Class Facebook page.

TWITTER: Using the handle @WorkingClass_TV, post your photo along with your name, the title of your work and the hashtag #PurpleArtChallenge.

In addition to sharing your work via social media, I will select images to share on the Working Class website.

Let’s see your purple inspirations!

Dorothy G. self portrait
Self portrait submitted by Dorothy Gerring

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *