1. As a kid, Ed Emberly helped me learn to draw. He was my childhood hero!
2. I became obsessed with Where The Wild Things Are when I was a kid. Wild rumpus imagination is a good thing. It's now an everyday thing!
3. I was allowed to paint on walls. When I was in elementary, I was asked to paint 4 murals on the walls of my school. Breaking the rules felt good!
4. When I was in grade 10, I worked on props for Paramount Pictures for an 80's movie called Children Of Lesser God. I met and had lunch with William Hurt. The world felt a lot smaller that day.
5. I had the best art teacher in High school. Mr. Murphy had the biggest open mind and helped me get into University. Asking for what I wanted was a good thing.
6. I took a leap and went to art school for 5 years. Independence was both exciting and terrifying.
7. I used to annoy one of my design teachers with my idea choices for projects. That's when I knew I was onto something BIG!
8. One summer I designed sardine cans at a design studio. I realized I did not really want to be a designer. I didn't want to settle.
9. After I graduated from art school I went back to get my BFA for another year and focused on illustration. Making a decision felt like progress. I was that much closer to growing up.
10. I took b/w darkroom photography the whole time at art school as an elective. This taught me both patience and attention to detail. The idea od organizing imagery within a frame is important as well as wearing dark clothing to hide spills.
11. When I started illustrating, I tried using gouache. I disliked it so much I had to master it. Now it's my favourite material to create with. Persistence won!
12. I dared myself to send out a book idea. I got a publishing deal in less than a month. Taking a chance and believing in myself was both surprising and exhilarating.
13. I worked as a veterinarian's assistant and helped animals. This taught me the customer has a heart that needs to be taken seriously. Listening became a good skill.
14. I worked part time at a Health food store while freelancing and this taught me that everything is connected to everything. Now I understand the concept that you get what you give.
15. I served coffee. I worked at a coffee shop and learned coffee is much more than caffeinated liquid in a cup. I learned how to make a perfect cup. My love for coffee and I have been going steady for over 20 years!
16. Having kids taught me to get back in touch with the original idea of creating. My girls reignited the making process which helped me to stop over thinking everything every minute of the day. Making a mess is not just for kids and I'm perfectly okay with all the imperfections.
17. Being asked to share my knowledge was another surprise for me. As a shy kid, this was never something I'd thought I'd be doing. Standing in front of an audience, although nerve racking, proved to me that I could change the way I perceived myself. Luckily, I didn't die and the earth did not swallow me whole. I even made them laugh even though I was shaking in my shoes!
18. Illustrating my first children's book taught me that storytelling is the best! It also steered me in a new direction which has been a much-needed shot in the creative arm. We really shouldn't put away child like things.
Let's continue the conversation: What are yours?