I’d like to introduce you to Chad! Not only is he my husband and father to our two kids, he is the amazingly talented artist and illustrator for my debut picture book, “The Kindness Machine.” Let me paint you a picture…(see what I did there?)
Chad went to college and graduated with a fine arts degree. He worked in graphic design and is now a Director of Film and a creative storyteller. He uses design and art to engage others in meaningful ways.
As a kid, Chad was told by more than one teacher to, “Stop doodling and pay attention.” He later explained that his way of being able to stay focused was by allowing his hands to be active and doodle. He continues to doodle on work notes and checklists daily.
Years ago, before we got married, I mentioned how wonderful it would be to collaborate on a children’s book: take our two professions, of educator and artist, and merge them together in one meaningful product. I have been talking about the story of “The Kindness Machine” with Chad for about four years. We have talked about the characters, setting, visual goals, etc. I STRUGGLE with visually things in my head and need to see it on paper or in person. Being married for over 10 years now, means that Chad knows me so dang well. He seems to pull the images from my brain and then exceed my expectations. He adds little details to show shadows and textures that take each illustration to the next level and brings the story to life.
A few months ago I was able to submit both the manuscript and two of Chad’s sample illustrations. Many publishers DO NOT want to see illustration samples as they assign illustrators to manuscripts they take on. Luckily, Purple Butterfly Press, not only loved the story but felt the illustrations were a wonderful compliment to the words.
I am so glad he continued “doodling” and am beyond thrilled that our names will be side by side on the cover of a children’s book about kindness. As this process continues, I will keep you updated and will be sharing some of his illustrations along with a cover reveal down the road.
I am so proud of him and thankful to have him on this exciting journey. A reminder to all educators and employees: If you see a child or even grown adult “doodling,” don’t assume they are not paying attention. I encourage you to shift your thinking and either ask them why they are doodling or even better…assume they are practicing for a future role as a children’s book illustrator.