Hello, friends! We have something special for you on the PeelyPack Blog today. We’re going behind the scenes of PeelyPack and interviewing one of the artists who creates the PeelyPack stickers and activity sheets you love and adore. She’s also a mom of three, working from home, who has some road-tested advice for balancing work and family.
And stay with us until the end because we have a free coloring book available that she’s been working on for you.
Without further ado… meet Samantha Lane Fiddy!
PeelyPack (PP): Hi, Sam. Can you give our audience a little background and tell us about yourself?
Sam: Sure! I studied illustration in college and have worked mostly in childcare since, with freelance art projects on the side. Over the past few years, I’ve also self-published two books of humorous fiction for elementary school-aged readers. I now have a six-year-old son, three-year-old daughter, and three-month-old daughter. I’m home with them full-time and there is NEVER a dull moment!
PP: You come up with the cutest details for our activity sheets. What’s your inspiration for making art for PeelyPack?
Sam: In my years as an after-school and camp art instructor, I would draw pictures for the children of WHATEVER they asked for. Their requests were always hilarious. Even if I had no idea how to draw, say, a Jedi penguin on water skis, I would try my best. Drawing for PeelyPack takes me back to those days! It’s so much fun! I also get inspiration from my kids, who never hesitate to tell me what they’d like to see on a PeelyPack activity sheet!
PP: What’s your favorite kind of art to make?
Sam: I love fun black and white line drawings, preferably with permanent ink so you can’t second guess yourself and erase anything! It’s the way I’ve always loved to draw. As a kid I would just sit with a black pen and stack of paper in my dad’s office, drink Diet Coke*, watch Nick at Night, and draw for hours.
PP: Do you have any tips on working from home as a mom? Like, how do you get anything done?!
Sam: This is something I’m still trying to figure out, believe me! Right now my best advice is if you have a partner, tell them what you hope to get done each week and work out times when that can happen. At the moment it’s nearly impossible for me to get work done when my kids are awake, so my husband and I have an arrangement where most weeknights, after we put the kids to bed, we work on our respective projects for a couple of hours. Thursday nights we take “off” so we can binge watch a cool show and spend time together, so that’s fun to look forward to and helps break up the week. The weekends vary, but if I’m really trying to finish something I’ll let him know and he’ll take the kids for a bit. (Though with a new baby at home, it’s been a little tougher, but I know that’s only temporary!)
PP: Who inspires you? As a mom, or artist, or just in general?
Sam: My friends are incredible. Some have started their own businesses, some work full time at amazing careers, some work part-time and stay at home part-time, and some are full time stay-at-home parents. And they all amaze me.
PP: We love your work, Sam. Aside from future PeelyPacks, where can we see more?
Sam: WHY THANK YOU FOR ASKING! You can go to http://starbrightafterschool.com/ to see books that I’ve written and illustrated.
Thanks so much, Sam, for taking time to talk with us. Look for more of Sam’s funny and sweet illustrations in upcoming PeelyPacks.
As a special gift for our beloved readers, PeelyPack has a free coloring book now available for you to download. Sam created many of the silly and sweet illustrations in the coloring book. The drawings are detailed enough for adults to enjoy coloring, but also captivating and fun for kids. I printed two copies of the coloring book – one for my kiddo and one for me. Get it here!