Friday, December 07, 2007


In 2000 we moved from Rochester, NY to Pittsfield, MA for George's new job. I was not happy about the entire situation and had no idea what to do with myself, except to go out looking for another picture framing job, which I had plenty of experience for.

All I've ever wanted to do with my life since I was a kid is draw cartoons. I guess this move to MA was the time when I felt desperate enough to just sit down and start drawing stuff, and see where it would go. I have always felt like a wannabe, and my drawings were really not that great. For some reason it is just in me that I have to do this.

A lady from George's company was there to help us find a temporary apartment. Her name was Gay Johnson. Whenever anyone would refer to her, they would always say "Gay Johnson," not just "Gay." Maybe she did the same. It must be a little awkward when introducing yourself for the first time, to start out with "Hi, I'm Gay." I'm pretty sure she said, "Hi, I'm Gay Johnson."

After she helped us find a place to live, I drew a cartoon on a little thank you note for her. This is a sketch of what I drew. I made some changes to the final one, which she has.

Gay was crazy happy about the card. She loved it, and this was very encouraging to me.

This is a bad sketch I drew of the apartment we stayed in, a furnished little one-bedroom place, connected to Mary Jo's Hair Salon.

I spent a lot of time sitting behind the kitchen table drawing and watching non-stop news about Elian Gonzalez.

For the next few years I drew cartoons and sent them to magazines, (and got rejected), and then there was a little ad in a local paper looking for an artist. I had enough cartoons by then to show them what I could do, so I had an interview there and got the job, freelancing for them.

For all these years it has been my goal just to make the same amount of money drawing as I made picture framing, and this year it seems I have finally accomplished that. It is a great feeling to be doing what I love to do. I can only thank God right now for the optimism I feel about what the future holds.


Uncle Joe said...

You have been a blessing to us.
Hopefully you know how we feel about you.
If not, let me sing it for you,

ahem.....Jennnnnnn...doodeeedah, lalala, looolooooloo.....!

That says it all right there....

Sarah said...

So excited to see where God leads you in the future! :-)

Anonymous said...

This is an inspiring look into your life, thanks for sharing it. Of course there is a niche for your unique style I would never have doubted it.

Emma Sometimes said...

You and George are one of the most gracious, friendly, and endearing couple I know.

Your story is so encouraging, and you do indeed draw VERY well. Congrats on your achievements to do what you love and get paid to do it, that is a good thing.

Aunt Jo said...

Hey! Where is my insightful witty comment? I was sure I was here earlier.....oh well.

Here is my thoughts:


Anonymous said...

Atta girl! I think writing your memoirs now is a very forward thinking and positive attitude! Not to mention you have the memory to put an elephant to shame, but who knows what you'll remember 50 years from now. Plan on being famous! (and too busy to write them later.) Remember though: "I knew you when..."