Diamond Painting Artist & Busy Instructor Thanks Streamwood, IL First Responders w/ Sparkling Work
Updated: Nov 20
Streamwood resident and artist, Steve Tucky, is shown here flanked by officers receiving his gratitude gift for their ongoing dedication to his community. His painting contains 57,928 "diamonds" and 50 colors. It is now located within the Streamwood, IL police chief's office. Scroll down to view more diamond paintings by Steve...
Diamond painting devotee and instructor, Steve Tucky, has discovered a gateway to creativity and well-being that he is eager to share with others. Whether creating gratitude gifts for the first responders in his community and sharing ideas on Facebook across the globe with other diamond painters or acting as a volunteer teacher at the Hanover Township’s Aging Services center in Barlett, IL, his dedication to his art form is truly heroic!
Steve has gifted both his local fire and police departments with his own framed diamond paintings – one from a kit and the other customized – as a thank you to the first responders in his area. He even received a plaque of appreciation for his donations from the Streamwood Village president.
After discovering the joys of diamond painting less than two years ago, he approached the Hanover Township Aging Services Center in Bartlett with his idea to bring a free, drop-in style, full-service, diamond painting class to seniors (age 60-plus) there. Diamond painting had brought him so much joy and connection with others, he wanted to pay it forward.
At the senior center, seniors eagerly embraced his free class. Starting in April 2023 with only a handful of students, attendance steadily grew week by week. He now has more than 40 regular attendees completely filling the center’s Stars ‘N Stripes Café with further expansion for space in discussion.
“I think it is so popular because it is something new for this age group and very affordable,” Steve explains. “They’ve tried so many other crafts and this is something anyone can do, no experience necessary, and achieve amazing results.”
Diamond painting kits, originating from China, produce a myriad of products to embellish from trinket boxes, journal covers, jewelry and bookmarks to pocket mirrors or larger. Choices even include pictures – landscapes and more that can be framed to hang on the wall. Or, if the artist prefers, they can personalize their work further by sending in a photo or painting of their own to be turned into a diamond painting kit to companies that specialize in this.
Diamond paintings, similar to paint-by-number, are filled in using a legend of numbers corresponding to the “diamonds” – small sparkly jewels – some faceted, some not. They are placed on the color-coded design using a tool that resembles a pencil plucking each bead and placing it squarely on the “tacky” surface. Once completed, a special sealant is used that retains the jewels’ sparkle and covers unembellished areas on that tacky surface. The results are truly stunning.
Class participants report a myriad of responses explaining why they’ve become diamond painting devotees. These include:
“I love the camaraderie of working together on our different projects – it’s fun to see what everyone is doing.
“I get so pulled into the project – it is mesmerizing – it helps me forget my problems, at least for a little while.”
“It gives me such utter joy! When I can’t sleep at night, instead of wandering around the house, I sit down and work on my project. I can’t remember doing something that has made me this happy in a very long time.”
Although he never held any art-related jobs while working full-time, he always had a hankering for bold color and diamond painting fills that perfectly, along with his preference for wearing brightly hued shirts.
“I can still remember discovering a red-orange crayon for the first time while in kindergarten and it was love at first sight!” he recalls with a smile.
Steve’s vision for his diamond painting passion is to continue spreading the word about its many therapeutic benefits. His social media presence on five related Facebook pages has generated inquiries to him from around the world asking for guidance in starting similar classes. Indeed, he has put together an entire approach that contains a syllabus, diamond painting lettering guides, therapeutic information, centimeter conversion chart, and more.
“I can’t believe how this has expanded so quickly,” he says. “I definitely feel God’s hand behind it all. It brings a joyful, affordable, creative and social outlet to so many. Watching it grow so well has been beyond my wildest dreams and is very humbling. I may only be a volunteer here, but what I receive in return is a paycheck of the heart.”
For more information about taking or teaching diamond painting classes, you can reach Steve via Facebook messenger or email: . My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve poses with firefighters at their Streamwood, IL station accepting his gratitude gift for their ongoing dedication to community service.
Close-up of Steve's firefighter painting. It contains 38,516 diamonds and uses 38 colors.
Keepsake box finished by Steve and offered to his classes as a project. It can stand up, like a book, or be displayed flat.
Steve's completed journal cover from an available kit.
Artist and instructor, Steve Tucky, in the Stars 'N Stripes Cafe at the Hanover Township Aging Services Center where he teaches every Monday afternoon from 1:30-3:30 PM.