Behind the scenes of a mother & daughter's 
 humorous journey in creating new characters, writing, illustrating,
and publishing a children's book. 

"I May Not Have Gone Where I Intended to Go, But I Think I Ended Up Where I Needed to Be."

January 31, 2017

 

Ecstatic to be included in this ocean of creativity, I collected paint brushes and water bowls from our art supply store and learned it was time for our first weekly meeting. Dan displayed an array of potential greeting cards and we artists were asked to choose one to work on. I never

saw a fight.

 

                  

 

Creating a greeting card? What gives? 


The bean counters & Planning Department determined the price of the card, size, idea to follow, and color look. Within one week after illustrating, the result of sweat and toil went to the owner of the company, where he either approved our artwork, returned it for fixes, or rejected it outright-a do-over required. (A democracy, it wasn't). In those pre-Photoshop days, a "fix" created a giant headache for the artist. Fortunately, my first card design was placed up on an honor board for exhibit. This newbie walked on air for a week! 

 

 

 

As the months rolled by, one day I noticed a young woman, a huge portfolio under her arm, walking into our department. It was Holly Hobbie. (Yes, that's her real name!)

 

I knew that I had found my creative home. 

 

Or had I? 

 

 

 

 


"I am thankful for the 3oz. Ziplock bag, so that I have somewhere to put my savings."  Paula Poundstone

 

During my days at American Greetings, I recall spending a lot of time at my drawing board thinking of ways that I could make more money. 


Then one day, something awoke me from my daydreams-something that I remember as if it happened yesterday. 


It was a Friday. I was illustrating a card of a mouse baking cookies (yes, I know, I know)-all the while keeping in mind that I be vigilant that its tail not create a phallic symbol ( a sure reject). Just then, a good looking guy walked up to me, introduced himself as Harvey Klineman, and asked if I would consider becoming a member of a newly-formed think tank. Hmmm...Well, let me think...As much as I would miss cute mice in aprons, it took me about three seconds to say, "YES!!!" 

 

                             Colleagues Linda Wirt Kirkhart and Barbi Sargent

 

Sadly, this would mean that an important part of my life would be ending. During my time in Humorous Design, I illustrated angels, hillbillies, bunnies, trucks, kittens, puppies, elves, pumpkins, cute kids, cows, and, of course, mice. I was leaving Wayne and Dan, two great bosses and wonderful colleagues from whom I learned so much. It was time to say goodbye. 

 

 

 

Irrelevant Quote of the Week: "The next time when you are alone, and an unwanted stranger talks to you, just look at him with a shocked expression and whisper,

'You can SEE me?'" 

 

 

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Author, Kelly Tooman with illustrator, Lynn-Tooman Cser

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