I recently came across the original design sketches for the cover of Draw Write Now, Book 1. You might notice that only Marie’s name is shown on the sketches. Here’s how my name got on the cover.
In 1992, Barker Creek Publishing, was a start-up business and Draw-Write-Now was to be it’s first product. Carolyn Hurst, the owner of Barker Creek and editor of the books, invited Marie to attend meetings with the designer and production people, and since I was Marie’s daughter and Carolyn’s friend, I got to go along. The cover was designed early in the process and four sketches were presented—the farm-scene design was selected.
Marie already had a long list of drawings to complete, so Judy Richardson, the book designer, was given the assignment to draw the cover. Working from her sketch, Judy made several attempts, but Carolyn wasn’t happy with the results—Judy’s drawing style was not like Marie’s. They were close to scrapping the design and asking Marie to draw the second-choice design, when I meekly said, “I think I can draw it.” They both looked at me, looked at each other, and said, “Okay, do it!” Well, I did it, and my art was used on the cover.
I kept going to meetings and helping Marie in any way I could. At some point before Book 1 went to press, Carolyn asked Marie to make me her coauthor. Initially, I was hesitant—after all, the lessons came from Marie’s creativity, experience and hard work—but, Carolyn used good business sense. I was able to help with the promotion and production of the book series, plus I knew and understood Marie’s teaching and artistic style like no one else.
Throughout the series, Marie designed and created all of the lesson drawings, while I did the cover drawings, helped with illustrations and worked on text. Judy continued to oversee the designs elements. Carolyn edited the books and, along with several amazing production artists who embraced the 1990’s technology, pulled the books together on the computer. In the end, I think we all realized that the collaboration was perfect!