Thursday, June 17, 2010

the making of a book

Once in a while I get to spend a day out of routine but still get paid for it. Today was that day.

Several weeks ago in my office we had a discussion about creativity. Remember back to the early days of your childhood, like kindergarden. If someone had asked you if you were an artist, most likely you would have said yes. In our early years, we all tend to think we are creataive but then as we get older, something happens. It's been proven that by 4th grade very few kids would answer yes to that same question of whether or not they were an artist. By that age, we've all been judged by our peers. Our artwork has been passed over for recognition. Our confidence starts to sink. Sadly, not only does our confidence sink where art/creativity is concerned but in other areas too. All because we begin to realize that we're not necessarily as good at particular activities as we think we are.

To make a long story short, our firm decided to sponsor an artist/illustrator to speak at a local children's organization today. Our goal was to share with the young people of the community that it is ok to be creative. It is possible to get paid doing something that is FUN. The job of playing hostess fell to me. A job that I was more than willing to do today.

Our speaker/guest was Brad Sneed. I was first 'introduced' to Brad years ago when my girls were little. My SIL purchased several books that he had illustrated and she even managed to have him sign them.  I finally asked how in the world she managed to get every book signed. As it turns out, he's got ties to my hometown. His parents live in the community now and he also spent his childhood summers in the area. Oh, the world is a small place.

Today I met Brad at 9am. He was booked for three presentations and I stuck around to hear the first one. He was great! The kids loved him. He spoke about his childhood and how he first learned that he had a natural ability to look at something and then recreate it on paper. His parents and art teachers noticed it and encouraged him to grow that talent. It wasn't always easy but because others encouraged him, he's now a full fledged illustrator....he gets paid to draw and paint. Wouldn't that be a fun job? Oh my.

As a hostess, it was my job to have lunch with him. This was my favorite part of the day. We covered a lot of ground during that hour -- childhood, art, dreams, family, more childhood, creativity, etc. Such great conversation.

I also listened to his last presentation. At the end of the day, he presents me with one of his books. And, he asks if he could sign it for my girls. Why, of course!


Even at 17 and 14, my girls were appreciative of this treat. I love that we have these for the girls. Such treasures to be able to send with them someday.

Brad also told me about his newest project. Check out Felix Featherbottom. What a great idea. I think my girls may have to get this book as part of their Christmas present.