April MidMonth Gift
The Little Oak Learning Club members know that every so often we are able to provide our members with an extra special gift in the month as a special thank you for all of their love and support! For now this is a fun surprise that is just for current club members only but we wanted to share with you some fun behind the scenes.
This month’s gift is extra special! We have guest artist, Kerisa Greene, sharing a beautifully illustrated Under The Sea A to Z. I first got to know Kerisa when she became part of The Little Oak Learning team, supporting me with all the things and creating beautiful spaces – the reason our website and Pinterest look so beautiful is thanks to the creativity of Kerisa. Kerisa is also an illustrator and I’m delighted that she has kindly made this mid month gift for us all to enjoy. I think it will look beautiful printed and framed in your child’s room or next to the nature table. To celebrate this month’s artist I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerisa and learning more about her creative and adventurous lifestyle. I knew that Kerisa lives in a van with her husband and cat next to the beach in Key West, Florida and I was so excited to learn more. You can read the interview here:
Tell us a bit about you and your lifestyle? When do you make time for your art?
I currently live in Key West, FL with my husband in an old ’82 VW Vanagon, on the beach. We fully embraced the minimal small space living and are loving it! When I’m not working you can usually find me reading a book, soaking in the sun, free diving in the ocean, or creating illustrations and stories. I love trying new foods, have a huge sweet tooth, and my guilty pleasure is watching The Great British Baking Show on repeat.
Art has always been the thing I turn to when I have any free time, for me it’s how I relax and reconnect. I find that I begin to feel stressed and a tad grumpy when I haven’t given myself the time to create so my goal is to try and carve out at least an hour each day for my own personal creative time. That time is to simply just enjoy the act of creating without any pressure of having to produce anything good.
What’s your creative history? When did you become interested in illustration?
Well I’ve always loved drawing ever since I was a child, I would create little stories and draw or write for hours at my little plastic Fisher-Price desk. I really got into exploring different mediums when I has in high school and after graduation I even went to art school for a brief period of time. After financially being unable to finish the art degree I went through a long period (maybe seven years) where I stopped doing art all together. In that time I got a (much cheaper) degree in communications and began a career in marketing, but I always felt like something was missing. In all of my jobs I always ended up taking on the creative projects and eventually taught myself graphic and web design. I found joy in creating and began feeling confident to start illustrating again. Since then I’ve been chasing that joy and I find so much happiness in illustrating.
Do you have ideas of how this beautiful A to Z could be used?
I love that Jill creates resources for The Little Oak Learning that aren’t a one time use item that immediately gets discarded, so when creating this A to Z poster I loved the idea of it being a piece of hanging artwork in your home afterwards. I was beyond excited about this month’s theme, as a scuba diver who has always lived by the coast the ocean holds a special place in my heart. My goal for this poster was to show the beauty of the ocean and introduce families to some sea creatures who they may have never heard of before.
This item could be used as a conversation tool when talking about the ocean and the wide array of animals that live in the sea. The possibilities are endless, ask your little which animal they like the best and take some time to do some more research on that animal or play a fun game of I Spy with the younger children who are just beginning to identify letters and animals. However you and your family use this resource I hope that it brings you joy!
Be sure to join The Little Oak Learning Club to gain access to the next MidMonth Gift!