No, but I did know from the age of five years old that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. This desire was made even more intense by the fact that my older brother went to this exciting place called school. I stayed at home and watched by favorite television program Romper Room-an on air Kindergarten. At community college I fell in love with art history and ultimately became a college teacher after graduating from the University of California, San Diego. As an adult I’ve been able to combine my love of teaching with art and writing.
If you didn’t write as a child, then when did you start writing and what inspired you to start?
As a student at the University of California, San Diego I was fortunate to work in the University Art Gallery. It was there that I met a number of contemporary artists and pursued writing art reviews and art articles while still an undergraduate.
What other jobs did you have before you became a writer/illustrator?
I still earn my living as an art professor and I am very happy about that. When I was very young I worked as a waitress, a clerk in the toy department at Christmas-time, and a hair stylist assistant. Prior to starting college I worked as a clerk typist for the State of California. I worked as a bookstore clerk in the Museum of Contemporary Art Bookstore while I was a student at UCSD.
Was your first book accepted immediately? Or did you experience a number of rejections?
I did submit a couple of book outlines to a publisher, but I really have to say that when it comes to 200 PROJECTS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR ART SKILLSthe publisher found me. In 1996 I created a free art resource website Art Teacher on the Net for parents and teachers in response to the wide spread budget cuts in the schools. I guess it was a matter of opportunity meeting years of hard work when I was contacted by a major publishing house and asked to submit an outline for a new book that they had in mind.
What is the topic of this book and who might be the audience for it?
It is like an art classroom in a book. There are 4 modules that cover the elements of composition line, texture, space, color and shape. It’s filled with interesting and different art project ideas and makes an excellent resource for teens and young adults wanting to build a portfolio of work for admission to art school. It’s also super for those working with teens who are looking for some art ideas and basic visual arts knowledge. It’s an excellent resource for beginning artists looking for art ideas or for a more seasoned artist looking for fresh art project inspirations.
Have you participated in an art program in schools or libraries as a guest art teacher or performer?
Yes. It’s one of my favorite things to do. Along with my regular college teaching schedule, I’ve done quite a few Summer Reading programs with children and teens. I also accept invitations as a guest art teacher in schools.
Do you have other published writing in addition to the non-fiction, art reviews and art articles?
Yes, I have written a romantic short story that was fun to develop and see published. I was also asked to write a college art curriculum guide, and invited to contribute art lesson ideas for the Wyland Foundation Ocean Challenge program.
Where is your favorite place to write?
The ocean is really inspirational. I’ve been known to get away from it all at my favorite hotel by the sea. There are other times when being surrounded by noise and family work just fine. The best way to get motivated is a call or email from your editor reminding you of the upcoming deadline.
What is your best advice for not yet published authors?
My advice is that you are best at what you enjoy doing. Write about what you know. Do plenty of research. Be Yourself. Don’t listen to negative voices. Have Fun! and
Never, Never, Never Give Up! Winston Churchill
Is there anything about yourself that you’d like to share?
I would like to let readers know about my websites:
Art Teacher on the Net www.ArtMuseums.comYouth Librarians www.YouthLibrarians.com