The work to illustrate "Aldo Renaldo" for Thompson Rivers University English professor and author George Johnson began on Jan.7, 2018. Actually, George presented me with the idea closer to 2015, but I couldn't really get Aldo off the ground until present time. In Jan. of 2016, I made a commitment to myself for a year of creativity, and creativity came. By 2017, my creative direction was clear, and Aldo Renaldo took shape as a personable little character with a dilemma. The character needed daily attention for his environment to begin to take shape too, and there were many characters, of which the sheer number was intimidating - 26. Aldo was learning the alphabet, but not in the usual way. The letters of the alphabet had a role in Aldo's world, and they had presence. His emotions turn with each colourful page as the letters take over his imagination. George, a father of two teens drawing on his experiences with his own children and their relationship to books through their story times together wrote each one of the letters to be animated with dialogue as they took to the page.
Starting with the manuscript I divided it into 32 sections to meet the children's book format standard for page count. In Jan. of 2018 I was reading a magazine "Where Women Create" and I saw a quote that resonated with me - "The elevator to success is broken you must take the stairs," and so with that thought in mind I began on this illustration journey, not knowing where it would take me, but knowing that I felt a deeply resonating sense of purpose and fulfillment there.