it's my life
Although I was born in New York City, I'm pretty much a Jersey Girl.
I can't remember not drawing. I started oil painting lessons when I was 9. After that, I experimented with every medium I could.
When it came time for college, I majored in art education, being told that it was a good profession for a girl. But at Ohio University, I discovered graphic design and illustration. And that is what I have done ever since, primarily art directing magazines.
I also made time to see the world, touring and sketching with other artists in places like France, Italy, Death Valley, Hawaii, Italy again, China, and...Italy (I love Italy). But my most memorable trip was to Russia to adopt my dear daughter Anna and begin the challenging journey of single motherhood.
I've been a guest blogger at Nerdy Chicks Rule, writing about the struggles of NaNoWriMo, the 99 years of my mother's life, and carpe diem:
Something About Mary
* In 1964, I won a Draw The Beatles contest and saw them in concert in the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. I saw them, but could barely hear them over the screams. In 1991, I bumped into Paul McCartney on the street in Rye, England, and shook his hand--it was dry and meaty.
* I was captain of my high school twirlers--my first taste of power.
* I published my first book in 2001, The Best Single Mom in the World: How I Was Adopted, for children like my daughter--adopted children of single mothers.
* I looked through the telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, and saw Saturn and its rings. It freaked me out. Saturn is really up there. No, I mean, really! I saw it.
* While painting alone near Zabriskie's Point in Death Valley, I experienced total silence--no birds, car sounds, planes, wind, voices. I felt like God had placed his pillowy hands over my ears. It also freaked me out. I left.
* After climbing 1,800 steps lugging a backpack full of art supplies up to the Great Wall of China, I went in the opposite direction of my fellow artists and sat alone painting the Wall as it snaked off endlessly through the blue mountains. It was literally awesome.
Most of my family is adopted--my daughter Anna from Russia and our dogs from rescue groups and shelters. Princess, Lady, and Oliver are mutts, each with a touch of poodle. Our new adopted puppy is Daisy, a maltese. We also have a cockatiel, a parakeet, and two cats, Callie and Snickers, who we rescued as feral kittens from the woods.
I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators.
Click here for more info about SCBWI.
All images, copyright Mary Zisk, 2016