I graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA degree. Dancing is a previous chapter in my life but I have always been a creative individual. I have now turned my creative outlet towards my books and helping children all around the world.
Here is why: Social issues are hard. Especially for young kids. I was trying to communicate with my girls one day, and was left frustrated and unable to get my message across to them in a way that really helped them out with their problem. I sat down and started drawing simple drawings and then told a short story to go along with it. The girls were able to connect with me, and I saw that being creative and thinking out of the box, helped them relate. The girls have their favorite stuffed animals from when they were babies and I was inspired to create characters out of them and give them a voice.
Brown Bear & Oofie are meant to look as if a child of a similar age of the reader, drew them. I believe the young readers can connect more this way. From my observations, before deciding on how to illustrate my books, I saw my own girls and other kids their age gravitate towards artwork that appeared to have been drawn by children. The simplicity of it all was not only appealing but just made sense. It immediately opened the door for more communication and random conversation with my girls. Random or not, it was a conversation and it worked. So after seeing this done repeatedly, I decided on my simplistic kid like drawings. I was simultaneously inspired by how kids can play for hours and hours with one background and reusable stickers, or paper dolls, or an app on their device that is basically a virtual paper doll set. That is why the background never changes in my books. I wanted to focus on the message and the details of the character's expressions and emotions.