Channeling the Creative Life

I am a creator of things.

The words “creator of things” can encompass many types activities. My earlier career of over 30 years was an art director for advertising.  As part of that job, I created TV commercials, brochures and logo designs. I have created everything from a gigantic bunch of grapes for a photo shoot to designing and painting a hot-air balloon for a publicity stunt. In my free time, have made baskets, upholstered sofas, pieced quilts, made jewelry and sewn my own wedding dress.  I also taught graphic design and illustration at a local university. In my hectic busy life, I even found time to create and raise two perfectly delightful children.






For the last nine years creating things has meant illustrating children’s picture books for other authors. Also, I have managed in the last year or so to extend my “creating” to include writing books for kids. More than anything I want to be able to write and illustrate a picture book of my very own and be published by a traditional publisher. Alas, I find very little time to write or illustrate my own books in-between illustrating books for other authors. When I do have small amounts of downtime between books for others I tend to work on small projects for my clients like logo design and websites to promote their books.


Am I complaining? No, I love what I do and I love being busy. I just wish there were more than 24 hours in a day. I wish I was disciplined enough to carve out a few hours each day to have creative time just for my work. Someday just for fun, I would love for all the many things I have created throughout my life to be gathered together in one room for me to see and remember. I know it would be a very crowded room full of great memories.


There's a Mouse on My Head

Picture book I illustrated for Donna Warwick








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2014 SCBWI Missouri Regional Conference

SCBWI_banner_SM copyLast weekend was the SCBWI MO (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Fall Conference on the beautiful campus of Lindenwood University in St. Charles Missouri. I love attending these conferences.

Imagine being surrounded by hundreds of people who love children’s picture books and children’s picture book illustrations as much as you do. Two glorious days of attending talks and workshops geared to exactly what you are interested in. Experts from all over the U.S. are there to educate, critique and guide you in pursuing your dreams. I had a critique of my Illustration portfolio by Giuseppe Castellano, art director at Penguin Books and a critique of my children’s picture book dummy by Jodell Sadler, a literary agent at Sadler Literary. There was a peer critique of my picture book dummy, directed by Jeannie Ransom, late saturday night that was also very helpful. I also listened to talks by Jodell Sadler, Dan Yaccarino and Giuseppe Castellano.

I learned a lot from the workshop, talks and the critiques. I now need to digest all the great information and put it to good use. Above is the artwork I entered in the Conference Banner Design competition. Wendy Martin was the winner see her banner and all the other banner entries on the SCBWI website. Congratulations Wendy.