When I was a young boy, I sketched and painted pictures on scrap paper on the kitchen table, while absorbing all the wonderful characters in children's books by Dr. Seuss, and dreaming that one day I would create them as well.
In junior high school (middle school in some places) I learned that you could actually make money from creating artwork, as fellow classmates would pay me to create illustrations for their project cover pages. That quickly came to an end one day when, after viewing 15 cover pages of the same drawing style from supposedly different students, a teacher exclaimed, "Why... doesn't Motz do wonderful work!". The jig was up, but I still had loads of fun illustrating my junior high school's annual yearbook.
When I told my parents I wanted to major in commercial art in high school they had no objections. They had watched as I had sketched and dreamed and they hoped that I was on my way to a profession that not only I would love, but would also pay the rent. High school was a wonderful learning environment. My work improved, and thankfully prepared me for the best artistic learning experience of my life - art college. I knew it wouldn't be easy, and it would be expensive. I never considered asking my parents to pay my tuition (they wouldn't have been able to afford it anyway), and so I worked at two jobs in the year between high school and my first year of college. I recommend to parents that they give their children the opportunity to pay for their own college tuition. Whenever I think of it I always feel a sense of pride.
Luckily, the art instructors at my college never got a chance to tell their aspiring students the odds of being accepted into the art program at the college... let alone graduating from it. I'm sure the level of anxiety would have risen dramatically in all of us had we known. It was only after I had been accepted into the program that I learned that every year aspiring art students submit 250 portfolio (package of artwork) submissions for review, and from those 250 portfolios only 40 students are asked to attend the college's first year art program. I believe that it is an incredible talent in itself to be able to judge an individual's potential based on a high school portfolio, and I'm very thankful that someone saw that potential in me. After an intensive, rewarding two years I graduated and received my diploma with 7 of my remaining fellow classmates.
In the twenty-five years since that time I've held positions in the advertising departments of some of Canada's largest and oldest companies. In 1996, I saw the power of the internet and it thrilled me. Not only could an artist create artwork for people to view on a regional scale but also on a global scale, and within minutes of the artist creating it... and it could be interactive. I immersed myself in this new technology and became an award-winning web designer with my work being published in "Best of the Web" books that were being sold around the world. This was great, but in the back of my mind I found that something was still missing.
I had always been an illustrator, but I had never illustrated a children's book, like I had always wanted to do when I was a kid. How could I now make this dream a reality?
Around that time, and by a wonderfully opportune coincidence, a man who had viewed the artwork on my website phoned me and asked me if I would consider illustrating a children's book that he had written... and I said, "Would I ever!"
So it began that a kid that had always dreamed of illustrating children's books is now a man that helps writers the world over fulfill their dreams of publishing them. To date, I've been responsible for the creation of 242 children's books for children's book authors, and many of those authors are repeat customers.
Contact me and hopefully I can make your dream a reality too.