I would say my favorite project to have worked on in school was a collaborative children’s book effort entitled, ‘Hug Something Horrible’. Illustrators and writers were paired together and asked to create an original children’s book – anything we wanted.  Together with writer, Craig Moyer, he and I came up with a book about learning to appreciate and accept others no matter how different they may appear; a book about monsters.

This project began half-way through my 2 years at Portfolio Center and was really a turning point for me as an illustrator. It was the first time pulling together everything learned up to that point. It was an incredibly ambitious project to tackle in one quarter – 28 full page illustrations – so, needless to say, it did not quite get finished. I’ve revisited the project several times since it was first started nearly 4 years ago. Unfortunately balancing full-time work, freelance work, personal projects, and life in general after school didn’t leave much time for completing the book.

This year, however, after a few encouraging reminders from former teachers and students, I have made a conscious effort to make time to finish the book. I worked through the remainder of my freelance queue and quit taking on new projects to focus on painting monsters for a while. Hopefully this summer will see the completion of ‘Hug Something Horrible’.

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