BULLETIN: I posted my time poem this morning. Scroll down to the bottom of the Adult Word of the Month Poems page. DH
Tomorrow I’ll present Kathy Temean. Many of you know Kathy well and have found my blog thanks to her. I’m very happy that she has agreed to appear on my blog, or I should say her blog. After all, she’s the one who set this up and watches to see that I don’t get into too much trouble with it.
Here’s Kathy’s bio to help get you in the mood for tomorrow. For more information about Kathy, start with her blog http://kathytemean.wordpress.com, then go to her website to see her portfolio. http://www.kathytemean.com
Creativity and the arts have always surrounded my life. As a child, I begged for a piano until I got one and then lessons so I could learn how to make the keys sing. Then I added drawing and painting to the things I wanted to do. In high school, my artistic passion continued, so I joined the band, chorus, art club, newspaper and yearbook. It was a hard decision trying to decide whether to concentrate my efforts in college on art or music, but art won out. I minored in education so I could teach and share my love for art with the next generation.
Life has a funny way of handing you unexpected things, but a good education and talent are always there for you. After a few years teaching, I left my job to have my son. When I needed to go back to work, I couldn’t find a teaching position and ended up in sales and marketing. My teaching background and the creative thinking my art background provided, helped me to be successful in sales. The company I worked for paid for grad classes, so I earn an MBA in business, which didn’t hurt.
When computers and the Internet hit the scene, I wanted to learn everything about them, so I changed jobs and started working for an innovative tech company located out in Silicon Valley. This enabled me to learn all the ins and outs of computers. Looking back, it was a smart move, considering how important the computer is in our lives today.
Nine years ago, my life took a big turn when an accident stopped me from walking and both of my parents passed away. Maybe it was the trauma, I don’t know, but suddenly I had a need to write. Words and ideas poured out. Stories formed. I couldn’t stop writing. I couldn’t walk or work, but the bills still needed to be paid. It had been years since I had painted, but one day while lying in bed, I thought maybe I could sell my art. Painting didn’t require walking or standing, so I started.
After a few paintings, I wanted to show off my work. A website would be perfect, but I didn’t know HTML. A few college courses later, I had my website. Like I said, it’s funny how things connect. All the computer stuff led to starting a web design company www.temeanconsulting.com , purchasing Illustrator and Photoshop, and using my artwork to learn the two software programs. My constant writing continued. I started reading all the books I could get my hands on about how to write.
Of course being an artist and a teacher made me gravitate to picture books, so there I was writing, reading, painting, and learning graphic art. With so much to learn, I joined the SCBWI, started attending conferences, and hooked up with other writers. I felt like a sponge soaking up every drop of information and then turning around and wringing it all out on paper.
The quest to learn drove me to volunteer with the SCBWI. I became the Assistant Regional Advisor and then the Regional Advisor. The combination of all of this developed into designing, developing websites, marketing consulting, teaching Photoshop and writing for beginners, illustrating magazines, creating book covers, writing articles, writing & illustrating picture books and then writing middle grade and young adult novels.
I wanted to provide information for other children’s writers and to show off the illustrators I knew to editors and art directors, so I started Sprouts Magazine, a high-quality 28 page full color publication that focuses on all aspects of the children’s book industry where I am the editor-in-chief. Running a chapter with 800 members has given me the opportunity to help many writers become authors and I am very proud of that accomplishment.
Since I do Jerry Spinelli website, I see all the e-mails from students who write. These e-mails made me realize how much children want to write (you can see that from the students David is attracting to his Young Poets Contests. Therefore, this past year I decided to share the joys of writing with children and formed the Young Authors and Artists Group www.yaagroup.org . The focus is to provide children the skills they need to become authors and artists. We provide opportunities to get published and have recruited published authors, like David L Harrison, to share their time and expertise with the children who dream of becoming writers and artists.
So just like a good story, I have come full circle – back to the creative things that interested me as a child – back to trying to share creativity with the next generation – back to everything except the piano. It sits silent in my living room. Maybe someday I’ll find the time to make it sing again.