Or ... how I got to this point of my life ... always growing, always changing, and always grateful ...
I have been drawing animals since I was 5 years old, and photographing them as soon as I got my first Brownie camera at 9, taking snapshots of dogs and horses, and ducks on the local pond. My best buddy as a child was Dutchess, the pit bull terrier, (alleged Boxer), I grew up with, and who so influenced my love of bully breeds.
As a Fine Arts graduate of Pratt Institute, it made perfect sense that I majored in photography. I also studied the writing and illustrating of children's books postgraduate with Uri Shulevitz at the New School and discovered a new passion. A circuitous route followed in which I became degreed as an art therapist and then a psychoanalyst with my own practice. However, I soon resumed my artistic focus as the graphic designer and fundraising manager for the largest animal sheltering system in my state. Over the next 20 years there, I gained a wealth of wonderful experience while continuing to work on my artwork at home. In early 2006, I took a leap of faith to grow my own business in graphic design and animal art with a dream - at long last, I would return to children's books.
It goes without saying that I have a soft spot for the bully breeds. I operated, and did all the graphics and fundraising for, my own American Pit Bull Terrier rescue for 13 years. My illustrations were published quarterly for over a decade in Just Frenchies magazine and for six years in Just Terriers magazine. These inspired my small art business and a shop on Etsy. My love of drawing and photographing all types of animals has clearly influenced the nature of not just my artwork, but the direction of my children's story writing as well.
While I continue to grow artistically - digitally as well as with pencils, pens and brushes - I am beyond happy to have returned to my dream, the writing and illustrating of children’s books. I have loved to read, write, and draw since I was a child, and I bring that love of imagery and the written word to both my personal and professional worlds. And through many efforts – becoming a member of SCBWI, participating in critique groups, and submitting what seems like thousands of manuscripts, my dream finally came true. In August 2022, my first picture book, Where Do Butterflies Go at Night? was published by Ethicool Books!
I continue to grow in all areas of my life and am aglow with the wonders that lie within me and before me.
I have been beyond fortunate and am deeply grateful that I have/have had devoted guides on my path in my emotional, spiritual, and creative life, and here I must thank Len, Bill, Alaya, Chuck, Georgia, Linda Marie, Anysia, and Dr. C. I couldn’t have gotten here without you.
Yá'át'ééh (All is good.)