It is my honor to inspire you all with my talented friend, Sannel Larson, who agreed to share even more about herself as I posed the following questions of her ...
Maria: Sannel, you wear many hats and you wear them well!
You are a writer. You are an illustrator. You are an artist. You are a photographer.
We got to see some of your fabulous work in my Fine Arts America interview with you, Mike Friedman and Linda Bilyeu.
Since that time, my portrait of Alvin the Debonair has arrived - proudly joining Andy and Aunt Baby in our home.
Alvin was my very first dog. He saw me through some hard times in my life, an ever - faithful and gentle soul.
Sannel, through your intuitive eyes and gifted hands, you captured this from a photograph I mailed to you - resulting in this lifetime treasure.
Would you not all agree that Mr. Alvin is truly a Debonair Dawg...?!
Maria: Thank you for showing us, Sannel.
It was also wonderful getting to know you in a recent interview that I hope others will also take the time to check out. However, you know me... I still had even more questions I wanted to ask! And I wanted to thank you, Sannel, for taking time out of your busy schedule to tell us even more... :
Sannel: Maria, my heartfelt thanks to you for giving me this opportunity to talk about myself, and for your beautiful praise regarding my work.
Oh, and I absolutely agree that Mr. Alvin is looking quite debonair in his blue bandanna. He sure is a handsome dawg. ☺
It's been such delight and sweet blessing to me to bring back your sweet darlings, Andy, Aunt Baby and Alvin through these portraits, knowing how much they will be loved and treasured in your home.
I would like to take the liberty to mention, if anyone would like a portrait of their loving pet, just send me a message and a photograph either to my email, facebook chat or by snail mail. If interested, I can also illustrate a personal Christmas card, birthday card, thank you card, or anything else of interest. The work will be featured in my gallery on Fine Art America, and may be purchased from there.
This is the link to my artist website: sannel-larson.artistwebsites.com.
Maria: In Bea's Busy Day I thought moms and grandmoms could read to their little girls causing curiosity, wonder and excitement - along with much fun and adventure. Can you give us the back story on this charming book?
Sannel: I was visiting a good friend one day, while she happened to have her granddaughter there, an adorable, curly haired toddler.
Well, anyone who has spent a day, or even just a few hours, in the company of a toddler, knows how very busy they can be. A toddler's curiosity and eager mind to learn, along with fun and play, will definitely keep their parents, and whoever is next to them, on their toes.
I was exhausted when I left my friend's home that day, ha-ha! However, I also left with a new story in mind.
Maria: Angels can be silly and playful too! is a story that tells children of all ages that different is not wrong. I love your line, "Angels come in many sizes and colors, just like snowflakes, no two are alike."
What motivated you to weave this valuable message in your words and illustrations?
Sannel: I have a similar message in my book,“You're perfect just the way you are.” I, once again, wanted children to know, they are special and unique in their own way, just as the angels watching over them.
At the same time, there is a message of reassurance that God and His guardian angels will always be looking out and protecting them.
Maria: You Are Perfect Just the Way You Are is a story of the life lesson of self-acceptance, which can never start too early. Was there a motivation or an inspiration that prompted you to, in turn, be so inspiring in your writing, dear Sannel?
Sannel: My hope is that this book will become some child's foundation for a strong and positive self-image. As a child, I was extremely shy and lacked self-confidence. Because of that, I struggled and had to work hard all through my life to build up my self-image. However, still today, I get moments when I become that shy, ordinary and ugly little girl again, who nobody will ever be proud of. So I wrote a story, I wish, someone had read to me when I was a young child. I know that would have made a huge difference in my life.
Instilling self-esteem and self-confidence in children is absolutely essential, more so than any other thing we do, and the sooner each child learns it, the better they'll be. Children need to know that we are all unique and amazing in our own way, and we should be very happy and proud of who we are. So what better way to let a child know how special they are, by reading this book to them before they go to sleep at night.
If this book manages to let a child understand how unique and amazing they are in their own way, then I'm beyond happy.
By the way, Maria, I hope you don't mind, but I would like to grab this opportunity to brag a little bit. You Are Perfect Just the Way You Are, Melvin. . . bad, bad kitten and Angels Can Be Silly and Playful Too have all received a five-star review, and been nominated by Readers' Favorite award-winning books. Yay! ☺
Maria: Tim and his out-of-this-world adventure is a book that make a little boy's eyes light up with excitement - I know this from first hand experience, although I'm quite sure the same would be true for little girls or really anyone with a taste of curiosity and adventure. I say this quite respectfully but you really engage your audience - how can you get into a kid's head the way you do...?!
Sannel: Maria, I'm not sure, but I do have a colorful, silly imagination and I'm sure that helps. I'm actually still very much a kid at heart. When I write and illustrate my imaginative stories, I have so much fun, and I believe it shows in my work. I think it shines through especially in, ” Tim and his out-of-this-world adventure.” I guess, I first and foremost, write and illustrate for the child in myself.
Maria: An Angel and a Pair of Shoes is a delightful collaboration and union of talents and love between you and author/illustrator, Sunnie Day of Graceful Intentions. I understand that 50% of the book's proceeds go to Be An Angel ( a non-profit organization that improves the quality of life of children with multiple disabilities or profound deafness). Tell us the process of how this fabulous effort came about...?
Sannel: Author, Sunnie Day, approached me one day, asking if I would be interested to do the illustrations to one of her children's stories called, An Angel and a Pair of Shoes. Of course, I was delighted and honored that she chose me to do the illustrations. Sunnie Day mentioned right away, she wished that half of the proceeds would go to a charity of some kind. So we both started to do some research and came across Be An Angel organization that we both agreed upon.
To work with Sunnie Day was so much fun. She explained to me how she had pictured the two little girls in the story. So, when I sent her my first sketch, I was pleased to hear she loved how I had captured them.
Sunnie Day is not only a talented and wonderful writer, but also one of the sweetest people you could possible meet. She's charming, witty and absolutely beautiful, inside and out. I hope one day, I'll have the blessing to work with her again.
Maria: Scent of a Haiga is one of my most cherished books, a blending of your gentle, yet powerful, haiga poetry with a sensory and sentimental look into your photographic lense.
How did you happen upon joining these two transforming and creative processes...?
Sannel: I'm a practitioner of mindfulness meditation, and I'm still learning.
Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, and in the present moment. So, while I'm out on my daily nature walks, I found the ancient Japanese poetry form, haiku to be a wonderful help to have me paying attention on purpose.
When you write haiku, you must think in visual terms, be aware of thoughts, feelings and actions, here and now, yet not reveal too much. I believe over the past years, I've probably jotted down a good 100 plus haiku's. Perhaps one day, I'll get around publishing them.
Since I enjoy photography, as well, I tend to take my camera along on my walks. Many of my photographs lay the groundwork for my haiku/haigas. Some of them can be found in my book Scent of a Haiga. Others can be found on my poetry blog.
Maria: What has been keeping you busy these days?
Sannel: I have been quite busy in the past few months with different illustrating projects. I've done the illustrations to Deborah Peters latest, adorable children's book, “How Henry Frog Became King.”I also designed and illustrated a logo to be featured on all her books.
I've recently finished the cover and interior illustrations to author Leah Woods, “Ramona, the Reindeer.” It's a spiritual, sweet children's story of faith, hope and love. Even though it's a Christmas story, I believe the book will be published in just a few months.
I've also illustrated the front and back cover to full-time writer, James Mckenna's upcoming book, “The Witch's Shadow.” It's a young adult action/fantasy book. The second in a series where the young heroine, Rosie and her friends adventures deep into the uncharted universe of Mind Space.
To be able to do the illustrations, James sent me a few chapters of the manuscript, and it grabbed my attention and enthusiasm right from the start. The story is full of suspense and action, and the characters are super cool. I'm eagerly awaiting for the book to be published in a few months, so I can read the rest of this adventurous, and very well written fantasy story.
If anyone is interested to have me doing the illustrations and/or cover work to their next book, just pop me a message, and I'll send them my rate sheet.
Maria: Is there anyone who inspires you that you would like to introduce to us?
Sannel: There are quite a few who are a ceaseless inspiration to me, including you, dear Maria, as well as others who have been featured here on your blog. However, I'd like to highlight an utterly awesome and incredible talented writer and photographer, who has always been a loyal supporter of my work from my years on HubPages. I'm talking about Rick Stephen, aka Poetic Fool.
It seems like whatever work Rick takes on he does it with flair and elegance. His poetry and photography always impress. I respect Rick on the highest of levels, as we both share many similar passions. He is writer and photographer worthy to follow with diligence.
Rick has encouraged and inspired me to improve myself, to pursue my writing, illustrating and photography without a fail throughout the years. He's always helpful, humble, kindhearted and a true gentleman. I do so appreciate him for the person he is in this life, and he has become one of my dearest and closest friends in this world.
You can find Rick's stunning photography in his gallery on Fine Art America:
You can find Rick's poetry on HubPages: poeticfool.hubpages.com
You can find Rick's poetry book on amazon: The Ramblings of a Poetic Fool
Thank you, Maria for having me here. It's been delightful!
Please enjoy a sampling of Sannel Larson's amazing work!
May the rest of you enjoy and share the work of this lovely lady for all to see.
Until next time, I wish you peace and inspiration, mar
This blog publishes the third Sunday of each month. I look forward to your visits and appreciate your feedback.
Please enjoy your stay...