‘. . . I’m able to see how the peculiar skills of a writer overlap with the peculiar skills of a mother: we work so hard–we must–to notice, to understand, to dig deep, to know.’ – Amy Shearn, author (writes for the New York Times Draft)
Rachel Melis has dreamed of being a children’s book writer and illustrator since being homeschooled by book-collecting, art-making parents in the forests of northern Wisconsin. Finding she didn’t know what to say to kids, she studied printmaking at Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, turning to book arts (letterpress printing, book binding, calligraphy, and illustration) and teaching young adults (she is an Associate Professor of Art at the College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University). In 2012 Rachel became a step-mom of two boys, and, in 2013 (and 2016), a mom of two girls, and now she has plenty to say to kids and even more to observe and learn about them! She is grateful to Aremy for inspiring her to return to her dream of children’s book creation and for suggesting this daily sketch exchange.
‘The idea that motherhood is inherently somehow a threat to creativity is just absurd.’ – Zadie Smith, author
Aremy Stewart is a painter and illustrator. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children. Family and relationships (humans to each other, humans with the natural world) are the central themes of her work. Aremy finds inspiration in the work of authors including Rivka Galchen and Zadie Smith, biking, good coffee, learning from her children and working on creative collaborations with other artists. ‘Baby Steps’ is a project that is very dear to her heart, and she is grateful to Rachel Melis for this daily exchange of ideas on art and parenting.