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Misawa military mom paints for mission, morale

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses next to her mural in the pediatrics clinic at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 3, 2018. She left her artistic imprint at the 35th Medical Group to create morale. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jeremy Garcia)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses next to her mural in the pediatrics clinic at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Oct. 3, 2018. She left her artistic imprint at the 35th Medical Group to create morale. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jeremy Garcia)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, paints a samurai in Edgren High School at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. The five sushi pieces represent her five children, while the samurai and Koi fish represent her favorite things about Japan. She shares her creativity to create morale and joy with other Team Misawa members. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, paints a samurai in Edgren High School at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. The five sushi pieces represent her five children, while the samurai and Koi fish represent her favorite things about Japan. She shares her creativity to create morale and joy with other Team Misawa members. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, takes a selfie next to her mural in Edgren High School at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. She creates a culture of positivity and affirmation through her art for the high school students. Smith painted a mural of Malala Yousafzi to inspire young women to stand up for what is right and encourage them to be brave. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, takes a selfie next to her mural in Edgren High School at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. She creates a culture of positivity and affirmation through her art for the high school students. Smith painted a mural of Malala Yousafzi to inspire young women to stand up for what is right and encourage them to be brave. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses with her family after church at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Dec. 16, 2018. The Smiths support their mother and her art as she spreads morale through her art around the installation. She said her family plays a major role in her inspiration and creativity. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jeremy Garcia)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses with her family after church at Misawa Air Base, Japan, Dec. 16, 2018. The Smiths support their mother and her art as she spreads morale through her art projects around the installation. She said her family plays a major role in her inspiration and creativity. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Jeremy Garcia)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, painted the 35th Operations Support Squadron mural at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2017. The commander requested her artistic skills to remake the squadron patch into a mural as a way to help create identity and morale in the unit. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, painted the 35th Operations Support Squadron mural at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2017. The commander requested her artistic skills to remake the squadron patch into a mural as a way to help create identity and morale in the unit. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, outlines her next mural in the 610th Air Control Flight at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. She has created 14 murals, which were requested by commanders to boost morale and emphasize the history of the squadrons. (Courtesy photo)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, outlines her next mural in the 610th Air Control Flight at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. She has created 14 murals, which were requested by commanders to boost morale and emphasize the history of the squadrons. (Courtesy photo)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses for a photo with Misawa Mayor Kazumasa Taneichi and U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, a former 35th Fighter Wing commander, after the mayor received a photo from Smith at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2017. Smith owned the photo from a family relative, which detailed the two pilots of the “Miss Veedol” aircraft who made the first Trans-Pacific flight from Japan to the U.S. on Oct. 5, 1931. The gift and piece of history strengthened relations between the U.S. military community and Japan and remains in Misawa City Hall today. (Courtesy photo)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, poses for a photo with Misawa Mayor Kazumasa Taneichi and U.S. Air Force Col. R. Scott Jobe, a former 35th Fighter Wing commander, after the mayor received a photo from Smith at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2017. Smith owned the photo from a family relative, which detailed the two pilots of the “Miss Veedol” aircraft who made the first Trans-Pacific flight from Japan to the U.S. on Oct. 5, 1931. The gift and piece of history strengthened relations between the U.S. military community and Japan and remains in Misawa City Hall today. (Courtesy photo)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, created a Wild Weasel holiday card for the 35th Comptroller Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

Sharon Smith, the wife of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, created a Wild Weasel holiday card for the 35th Comptroller Squadron at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 2018. (Courtesy photo by Sharon Smith)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --

To be an artist requires passion, creativity and inspiration. Although an artist’s techniques and skills may vary, it is their ability to capture thoughts and emotions that keep drive them to create their next piece of work.

 

Sharon Smith, a military spouse of Maj. Brian Smith, a physical therapist with the 35th Medical Operations Squadron, and mother of five boys, offers her artistic talents to the installations on which she and her family reside.

 

“I think having a big family is my inspiration,” Smith explained as she talked about where her ideas and opportunities come from. “The things my kids say are crazy, and I bounce ideas off them all the time.”

 

Smith and her family have moved a total of six times, all of her previous five bases bear her artistic imprint.

 

Smith left her mark on Team Misawa early in her family's tour; she painted her first mural here at the 35th Medical Group’s pediatrics clinic in July 2017. This mural portrays a bit of her personality through its colors and hidden sushi drawings, the number of which reflect her age.

 

Smith’s influence did not stop at the pediatrics clinic. She also painted a mural for the 13th Fighter Squadron, detailing the unit’s history and acting as a guiding light for young pilots to draw strength from as they face today's challenges.

 

“It gives the squadron a little glimpse of where they’ve come from,” said Maj. Smith as he described the importance of the 13th FS’s mural. “It’s a daily reminder of why they are here and offers them inspiration for where they want to go.”

 

“A lot of what she does for the base is her way of giving back,” Maj. Smith added. “She will pick up and complete a new project at each base to give back to her community, specifically for the Air Force. Art is her passion, and she has the ability to beautify a place on base, which really helps morale.”

 

Her latest project is a mural that is located in the Edgren High School bathrooms. The theme of this mural is one of positive affirmation for young students.

 

“The principal and I formed a committee with the students as we picked out male and female influential figures,” explained Smith as she described the importance of the community being a part of her latest project. “We wanted to get the kids involved! I painted portraits of LeBron James, Albert Einstein, J.K. Rowling and Anne Frank, based on their ideas.”

   

As a proud military mother and wife, she wanted to give back to those who gave her so much.

“I am really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given and am proud to be part of a military family.”