I can vividly remember sitting at my desk in Kindergarten, listening to my favorite teacher, Mrs. Jorgensen, while ‘doodling’ in my notebook. I used to draw the typical stick figure people and dress them up in different outfits. Those people became friends and turned into stories I would write out and illustrate in my journals. When school was difficult, drawing was my comforting companion. Art has been and will always be my favorite kind of therapy. 🙂
Sometimes it can be hard for children to put into words why they are in such emotional pain, especially those who are desperate for friendship and are in a difficult position to make a decision to speak up for themselves, or remain quiet for the sake of having some form of friendship – even if it’s a damaging kind.
In elementary school I was bullied for my weight. I was last to be chosen for teams at recess. Even my “best friend” in elementary school could be my worst bully at times, pulling my hair, punching me, kicking me and laughing while I cried.
After my best-friend in high school committed suicide, years later, my brother passed away unexpectedly, it was art that gave me an outlet from the mental anguish that kept me up many nights and struggling through each day. Art saved my life. With artwork, I could create whatever I wanted or needed to comfort my heart and heal my mind.
All throughout my school years the stories and poems I would write in my notebooks had characters who were like me. They would struggle too, but I created a friend for them that wouldn’t hurt them or leave them. A safe friend. This would later serve as the inspiration for my children’s book characters.
The Mission Behind My Artwork
The mission of my visual comfort art, my realism fine art, is to preserve a memory in a positive and beautiful light. The loss of a loved one, a memory of a favorite home or safe and comforting place, a beloved pet, or family that you want to see all together… I strive to create that needed comfort for others because I know what it means to have that way to heal the mind and heart. When we can’t see those we love, when we can’t live in or visit those favorite places, it’s comforting to have those memories to hang on our wall and remember the love we feel in our heart. It’s one thing to remember them, it’s a whole other thing to be able to see and have that constant reminder of love and feel the comfort of those memories.
What I love about painting and drawing is that it can be like magic. I can create things that can’t be seen with our mortal eyes, and change the reality of what was. For example, the loss of a loved one can be painted in a heaven like scene… a baby that was born too early, with the reference of the parents baby pictures, I can paint them in the form of what they may have looked like at full-term. A home can be painted at any season of the year, with a sunset surrounding it or any other details that you may want to be hidden or added to. I love that I can take what is loved, and high-light or enhance whatever you wish to see. The greatest reward of my work is to bring comfort and happiness to my clients.
Be Kind Books
In 2018 I began a journey that I’ve wanted to start for years. Given the hardship that I had through my elementary school years, and the rising reports of bullying in school and the sad result of suicide in children as young as 8 years old, I have wanted to find a way that I can help prevent these horrible events. My heart just aches when I see children who hurt in the same way I used to when I was young. So I took a leap of faith, left a job I loved, and began my career as a full-time artist in 2019, dedicating my all to my fine art and children’s book series with a mission to do my best to help those in need of comfort…
I created Be Kind Books with the mission to inspire and teach love and kindness. Many of the characters in this book struggle with life challenges that carry a stigma in society. Choosing kindness can transform an entire life from one that could be self-destructive into a life full of confidence and courage. My character, named ‘Little One’, represents who we all can be; someone full of love for people of all walks of life. Those who are different can be beautiful in our eyes. A simple smile, a choice to sit next to someone sitting alone, and a choice to comfort a broken heart are actions we are all capable of. We are all capable of being a friend.
A Little More About Me
I live with my husband Clark, and furbaby Henry, in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania, surrounded by an amazing circle of friends.
Having no children of our own, we have adopted our nieces and nephews as our own, and embrace all who surround us with love and joy. I have a passion and a love of making new friends, which reflects in my books and inspiration for Little One’s character. There is a lot of emotion behind the stories that Little One and her friends tell. Like many children today, and as mentioned above, I experienced bullying at school in my childhood and struggled with self-image. I am an advocate for Mental Health Awareness, with personal experience there as well.
I hope that with my stories I can change the hearts of children and adults to make a change for the better and choose kindness. To be a friend and not a bully; lift others up instead of walking by. With the personal struggles in my life I have learned amazing lessons that I hope to pass on. As a child growing up there were other kids who came to my rescue, adults who were positive examples and teachers who changed my life by opening up my eyes to the good in the world and who I can become if I don’t give up. One small step, one small change can transform and possibly even save a life.
If you’re struggling, or just need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, anytime. I know what it means to experience emotional pain, and I am your friend. I would love to get to know you, talk to you, and listen. 🙂