I have been fascinated with mermaids since I was very young, and by age four, I would spend hours drawing them. Around this same time, I was diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. This diagnosis meant that I struggled to understand the words and sounds around me and made learning difficult. As I struggled to keep up with my peers, art became my focus. My mother made sure I always knew that I could excel in the areas where I was gifted even if I struggled in others. She truly helped instill a positive belief in myself and allowed me to dream.
I was often quiet and observant during conversations as it was difficult for me to keep up with the speed of other people’s words. This process of watching allowed me to understand body language, emotion and feelings on a deeper, more empathetic level. I could see how beautiful humans were on the inside rather than making judgements about the outside. One thing I felt people needed to be reminded of was to speak with love. I strongly related to mermaids. I imagined mermaids lived in the peace and quiet of their underwater world, mysteriously silent, but speaking with sincerity and beauty once they felt safe. My mermaids are often painted without a face so they can’t be judged on their expression but rather remain a beautiful mystery that may enchant your heart. If mermaids do speak I hope it is with love and kindness which is why they have hearts as mouths. Let it be a sign for all to speak with love, kindness and acceptance of everyone they come in contact with.
As my life evolved and I grew older, I wanted to become this creature I had visualized throughout my entire childhood. At age 5 I started making patterns and sewing mermaid tails. This artistic expression continued through my childhood until I reached adulthood in 2009 and decided to move to Hawaii. This new adventure allowed me to swim like the mermaids I had always imagined, as often as I liked, and I fell completely in love with the connection I had to the sea. At this time, I decided to face some of my greatest fears by writing and illustrating a children's book as well as choreographing a live action mermaid show, which I still perform today! The book and show are titled, “The Brave Mermaid”. Through it, I teach others to believe in the power and possibility of their dreams and to let go of any mental or physical limitations possibly holding them back. I want them to feel the reality of a dream being actualized and to understand that the pursuit of dreams helps to make our world a better place.
About my Book: The Brave Mermaid
The Brave Mermaid is a children’s book intended to inspire kids to realize that they can accomplish anything as long as they put their mind to it and are willing to work for it. I want to help children look inside themselves to discover what their talent is and inspire them to share that talent with the world.
The illustrations I created for my book are intended to capture the minds and hearts of children and transport them to a make-believe world. The colors and subjects capture and retain the attention and imaginations of the children reading and experiencing The Brave Mermaid. I found the color inspiration for my book by visiting elementary schools, telling the story of The Brave Mermaid and asking children to color illustrations I brought with me. I took home hundreds of colored pages from the children and I chose my colors based on the ones they gravitated to the most.
I worked hard to make sure the book was created with children in mind. To ensure my young audiences would be captivated by what they heard and saw, so my message would come through in the most memorable way. The book is based on my own childhood struggle of loving to sing but being far too afraid to do so in front of anyone else. The twins and mother in the book also mirror my own family, my mother and twin sisters. Merboy Mer Rad Chad represents my consciousness and that little voice that was so hard for me to listen to. The voice that was telling me I could do it! We all need someone in our life to remind us of what we are capable of and to give us the nudge to go and share that with the world. For me, writing a book was a significant challenge. I grew up with an auditory processing disorder. This made academic learning extremely challenging for me as a child. No one ever thought I would grow up to write a book, but that’s exactly what I did! I have fully lived the message of The Brave Mermaid. We all have challenges and trials to overcome and doing so makes us stronger. We all need to be brave enough to overcome our fears and share our talents to help make the world a better place!
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