Saturday, September 15, 2012


I spent the week editing, or adding onto some older packets that I had made.  It's always fun to look back and see the work that I have previously made.  If someone were to compare some of my earlier work to what I create now, I think they'd be surprised.  My Mom used to say "practice makes perfect."  I'm a long shot from perfect, but I believe that the artwork has come a long way.

When I was growing up,  I didn't think that I could draw.  My Mom is a natural artist, she can draw pretty much anything just by looking at it.  She won a scholarship to college back in the day for her artwork.  You can only imagine what it was like  ( at least in my head) trying to figure out how to draw when there is an artist in the family.  Stick figures, I was your go-to-girl, but real objects that could be identified?  Not a chance.

Flash forward to 1998 when I began creating learning materials. I began putting my materials "out there" into cyber space and as quickly as I would make something I was being requested and encouraged to make more.  At that time I was using clipart that I had permission to use by 2 well known companies. Prior to using their materials, I had asked permission and had letters from the companies granting me permission.  That worked well for a year or two until an unscrupulous competitor tried everything under the sun to push me offline.  She even went so far as to stage a "cou" and set the wheels in motion for some of my work to be copyright infringed, and some nasty rumors spread.  It hurt at first, but then I realized that the person must have such a low self worth as to do something like that.  In the midst of all of the gobbledegook (great word, eh?) :)  The person had contacted the 2 companies that I was using for artwork, and complained that it wasn't fair that I was able to use their artwork.  To this day, I believe that she thought that would be the end of me creating. :)  Instead, it was a gentle nudge for me to start drawing my own artwork.  I wasn't about to let someone that didn't have ethics or morals keep me from doing something that I loved, and was doing to help people.

My first official printables website was opened in 1999, and my "brand" was created in 2000.  So yes,  I've been at this for 14 years and for the most part have loved every minute of it.

My original artwork was more simplistic.  I used the shape tools for a lot of the items I drew.  The lines weren't always perfect, and sometimes the coloring wasn't quite right.   I kept at it, and taught myself different techniques for correcting the lines and shading/coloring.  Pretty soon,  my "style" was becoming pretty well known.  I like simple line artwork because it's nice to be able to identify with the object/animal.  I've received numerous letters from teachers of autistic and other special learners that were happy to see my artwork because the children could identify with it, and not become confused by the "busy" lines.  I have had fans/followers email me from all over asking me if a certain project/game was mine based on appearances only.  Most of the time, they are spot on! :)   It's fun to know that so many have come to identify with me and my work.

In 2010,  I decided to up the ante a little bit.  Until then, even though I did create materials for older age groups, my brand name identified more with the younger levels.  A customer came along and wanted to purchase the domain name that I had used for years, and I opted to do it.  It was a risky business move to change brands, but I did so in order to create a larger / broader collection of learning materials.

Now, my age range spans from Prek-K  up to 5th grade.  I've been blessed with different opportunities to create, draw/illustrate, and publish hiqh quality learning materials.  My artwork is being used in classrooms in 16 countries, and all 50 of the U.S. States!  How cool is that?

When I think back at how I got my start, from one small sketchy drawing...  It makes my heart smile.


1 comment:

  1. I am so excited to see you here in the blogging world. I started teaching in 2005 and would not have made it through without your creativity and materials. I loved this post, because I remember you going through some of that. I am so glad it made you grow instead of bringing you down!! Thank you for all you have done over the years!!


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