Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dream Big!

I recently finished the artwork for a new book that will be published in the spring of 2011.  Dream Big, Little Pig was written by Kristi Yamaguchi and will be published by Sourcebooks, Inc.

It’s such an honor to work on this project.  Kristi Yamaguchi is an amazing person, a gold medalist in ice-skating, a winner of the popular television show: Dancing With the Stars and a champion for children through The Always Dream Foundation.

I really enjoyed developing the characters for her book.  The story is funny, heart-warming and an inspiration to anyone faced with challenges as they follow their dreams.

Kristi Yamaguchi is the most recent gold medalist I’ve worked with, but she’s not the first.  Many years ago as a high school student in Troy, Ohio, I landed my first job at a local sporting goods store.  The owner of the store was Bob Schul, the only American runner to have won the Olympic gold medal in the 5000 m, at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. 

I was a lousy sales person.  After I botched a few customer returns, Mr. Schul, knowing I had talent in other areas, allowed me to be the store’s artist.  I drew designs for jacket embroidery, team logos and various sport awards.  We were both much happier when I was drawing instead of selling.  Mr. Schul has been involved with the world of running for years.  He’s been a coach and mentor to many others with dreams of becoming a winning runner.

So, I’ve been fortunate to work with two Olympians, using their golden celebrity status to benefit others.   Whether skating, running …or drawing, becoming our best begins when we dream big.

Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi skates into your favorite bookstores in March 2011.  I’ll keep you posted.