For 30 years, Jody Tockes was a special educator in Peoria and East Peoria public schools. Today, she offers art classes in her Peoria studio, The Hive, and teaches about healthy living and environmental stewardship. A hometown girl, she graduated from Manual High School and Bradley University, receiving her master’s degree from Olivet University. Her goal with The Hive, which opened in February 2013, is to provide a place where people of all ages and abilities can have fun and de-stress through painting and creating. This year, she plans to offer many new classes that combine art with all aspects of health—physical, mental and emotional. An avid painter, photographer, writer and gardener, she and her husband, Rick, have three children and three grandchildren.

  1. Favorite smell: “New baby” smell. The smell of children, in general, is a wonderful, happy smell to me, even their sweaty little heads. I love the sweet essence of youth!
  2. Proudest moment: Seeing my children parent their children is a continual source of pride.
  3. Person who had the greatest impact on my life: Hands down, my mother. She taught me patience, kindness and that there is far more good in the world than evil.
  4. My life won’t be complete until… I hike into the Grand Canyon and wade in the travertine waters of the Colorado River beneath Mooney and Havasupai Falls.
  5. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My hoarding tendencies. I have difficulty throwing things away because I always visualize another use for them.
  6. Biggest regret: Questions not asked that can no longer be answered.
  7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face? The look on someone’s face when they are genuinely pleased with something they have created.
  8. Who inspires you? All people who give unselfishly to others inspire me. In our community, there are so many who continually inspire others to be lifelong learners, to give of themselves, and to bring out the best in people. It’s hard to single out one.
  9. What book do you think everyone should read? In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. We all need to be aware of the critical state of our food system and take personal responsibility for creating change.
  10. What is your favorite quote? “Every purchase you make is a vote for what exists in the world.” Our consumption habits determine our health and that of our planet. a&s