It’s true. I discovered something that had always been right there in front of me –
I could create art for children’s picture books!

 

The cover for the picture book, Off Like the Wind.

I’d always loved books, history and learning. As I kid I devoured the World Book Encyclopedia, learning about topics literally from A to Z. I used my imagination to travel the world. I took off on a whole new adventure as a children’s book artist.

Creating books for kids = fun stuff!

I got to read great stories and use my imagination to bring that story to life with a whole world of paintings. While the world of advertising was hustle, hustle, hustle; creating a book was a much more thoughtful, creative process.

I was excited – collaborating and creating art for a world that didn’t exist. Or recreating a world that is now gone — using my vision as well as the author’s. GOD may have done that in 6 days, but it normally took me 6+ months to paint the 16-20 paintings for each book. The most fun part was that I was relaying a story. My narrative style could show what the author’s words could not. And what no photo could relate. We were creating a wonderful world the reader could live in, feel and explore.

I’d also forgotten how much I loved painting with oils. The buttery-ness of the paint. The luxury of longer drying time.

Creating books challenged me in a whole new way. As a result, my skills grew and my style evolved. I won some awards. And I made a lot of new friends!

My art found its way onto bookshelves all over the world and into the hearts of thousands of children (and adults). And I got to use my son as a model in many of my books, chronicling his childhood through my art.

Very, very cool.

During those years I painted art for more than 20 children’s books, plus book and magazine covers. I launched my first website back in the days when the web was shiny new. I became a speaker and visited schools, interacting with more than thirty-thousand kids, teachers and librarians. However . . . call it a mid-life crisis, but the industry was changing and once again –

I began getting restless for something more . . .

This is a painting of Moina Belle Michael.