Hello, followers! I hope that you are all comfortable because I have a story for you!
Back when I graduated college and first started freelancing, my very first serious client was a woman by the name of Lee Jarboe who I was able to meet thanks to the help of my now ex career adviser, Stephanie Eisenhart.
When Mrs. Jarboe first hired me, she had an idea for a children's TV show where a family of four, mom and dad with their twin son and daughter being the main characters, travels all over the USA discovering fun activities, land marks, and of course, state birds. What she had in mind was that the show would be interactive like Dora the Explorer (except that it would be less redundant and stupid and without some lame dance number to celebrate a job well done at the end of each and every blasted episode) mixed in with the adventures of The Wild Thornbarries except that it would be more domestic than world wide. In my opinion, I think that it was a pretty darn solid idea! It would teach kids about the states while at the same time sparing those of Latino decent from a crappy rendition of a horrendously overrated show. (Seriously, Dora just need to be ghost!)
In this project, Mrs. Jarboe wanted me to draw the family exploring the wonders of Alaska! She had me do storyboard, character designs, and background design. And boy, did her story have everything! It had salmon fishing, mountains and trees, a friendly Grizzly Bear, a talking Trunk giving the kids supplies for fishing, some douche dumping toxic waste into the river bank.....it was awesome!
When I was done with the last background design, she was hoping that she could get some professional voice acting into the mix so that I could do an animatic for her. But unfortunately, we never could get around to doing that much less any real animation production, so Mrs. Jarboe did the next best thing and took what she had to make this book! :)
An illustrator by the name of Ross Boone took what I already did and revised it so you can still see a lot of my essence shining through.
Now that I look back, I'm glad that Mrs. Jarboe was willing to take a chance on me considering that I was fresh out of college at the time. Plus, I was able to gain my second client whom I am currently working with now. Talk about a bonus! :D
So Mrs. Jarboe, if you are reading this, Thank You!
Thank you for bringing my characters to life and helping me to get my project going. Wishing you all the best and hope to work together again.