I spent my childhood in a small town in Wyoming. It was a great place to grow up, but I knew the world was out there waiting for me. I first got into children’s publishing in 1998. I was able to take the messages that are part of my art and make them into a satisfying reading experience about acceptance, differences and empowerment for kids to feel better about themselves in a simple, fun way. But I didn’t always have a signature style, and I wasn’t always considered a go-to-voice on emotional wisdom for kids, or addressing relationships that kids want to celebrate or issues that young people have questions about.
In high school, art was a passion of mine, but I failed art class. Because of that failure, I lacked the self-confidence to pursue it further. I worked at many things before finally coming back to my original dream of painting. I continued with my work because I knew being an artist was what I wanted to do with my life.
After trying galleries and not getting anywhere, I was able to show my work at one of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants, Postrio, in San Francisco, California, (where I have lived for the past 25 years). With a little luck and a lot of persistence, this exhibit led to many other things, including creating merchandise for Macy’s, and eventually on to my own line of clothing for kids. From there, as they say, it’s history. I have a lot of fun creating my books, and I’m proud to know they are helping someone feel better about themselves in a silly, fun way. I’ve put out over 40 books, with more to come, and they’ve been enjoyed by millions of kids and their families. It took a long time, but I’ve come a long way from failing an art class, and I’m glad my fans are here with me for it.