I guess you could say it started when I was 4 and ½ and my youngest of 4 siblings was born. Already at that young age I had been around lots of babies. I’m told there are photos of me nursing my baby dolls because that’s all I ever saw. My maternal instincts were apparent from the beginning. I was so fascinated by babies. I loved their little hands and little feet and little noses.
Fast forward a few years when I was 12 or 13 and started to baby sit for the neighbor’s kids, and it continued from there. My after school jobs in high school all consisted of childcare. One of them was a special needs family. The summer I graduated and had turned 18, I was hired as an after school caregiver for the kindergarten to 2nd grade age group at a private daycare center. I was so determined to work in the infant and toddler rooms. I just wanted to be around babies more than anything!
After about a year I started working in the infant room while once in a while substituting in the toddler room. I was in love with my job. It hardly ever felt like it was work to me.
At this point I was still watching cartoons….something that fascinated me just as much as babies. I was made fun of quite frequently for this, but I didn’t care. Something about animation has always spoken to me. I consider it to be my second language. My parents both came from artistic backgrounds, mostly in television. While I had many talents in the fine arts area, like my mother, I made a business decision when entering college and choosing my major that would benefit my financial needs more than fine arts alone could. Or at least could in a shorter amount of time than it takes to establish yourself as a fine artist, something my mother has been working feverishly at for over 30 years now.
In 2003 I started my first year at the Columbus College of Art and Design, a private and very intensive 4 year program. I received an amazing scholarship based on my merit and portfolio. I spent morning till night most days, and would go straight from school to one of two of the families I was a nanny for. I spent nights with the baby, hardly ever sleeping and would leave from there at 7am to begin my morning commute to school for another long day. On days I got out early, I would sub in the infant or toddler room at the children’s center.
In 2007 I receive my BFA and pretty much came home and slept for a month. In between sleeping, I was still subbing at the day care, sitting for a number of families, and starting to look for jobs within my major. Having been in love with all my “jobs” over the years I had come to the conclusion that having a job I hated just because it paid money wasn’t an option for me. I decided I was going to be a full time freelance artist. I had talent in many different areas of art ranging from photo-realistic graphite portraits to graphic 2d animation, and interactive web design. (Something CCAD is great at is producing well-rounded artists and I’v always been thankful for that experience.) I knew I would be happiest in my career choice if I had the option of staying in my pajamas while doing it, and making my own hours. Who wouldn’t!? lol. I created LMD Studios and have been running my own business since.
In 2009 I gave birth to my daughter, Lucy Monet. Being a mom is the most humbling experience of my life. It’s so different than haven taken care of all the other family’s kids over the years. Now I get to be there for everything and guide her through. She is the reason for everything in my life. She is what gets me up in the morning. (its sort of hard to ignore that part lol) It is endlessly amazing to watch her grow and learn new things everyday, and so she is also the reason that I have combined my talents into one humongous mission to share what I have come to understand about the world around infants and toddlers, through animation and art which will eventually become a series of educational DVD’s. My intentions are to make these as handmade as they can possibly be. Right down to the felt and paper pieces I make for stop motion sequences. For some other additions I will be supporting handmade myself by commissioning other Etsy artists to make things for the films.
I invite you to come along on this journey with me while I create Handmade Interactive Education for Infants and Toddlers TM