“Your name is the most valuable thing you own. Be careful where you put it and who you give it to, Mr. Adams,” Don Egbert said. Don was the Dawson Springs Commercial Bank Manager when I applied for a loan for college—the second item on my high school “goals list.”
At the age of twenty-five, I completed my high school goals list—9 reasonable goals and 1 impossible goal. Now in my mid 40s I’m achieving another of my second goals list items—to own a building. I chose a centrally located building in Dawson Springs, Kentucky to convert into a warehouse for my books.
This building isn’t intended to be a bookstore; however, a longterm goal is to convert the building into a publishing university for passionate writers and illustrators in western Kentucky.
The latin word for passion is pati, meaning “suffer for what you love.” I’ve learned a person’s passion is the one thing they love and they’ll usually do for free! Choosing to follow a passion requires working through every challenge presented whether successful or not.
I told my family a falsie to see what their reaction would be to ending my Illustrator Life. I said, “I’ve been offered a new job that requires me to not illustrate children’s books; however, the job pays me a higher salary.”
My daughter asked, “Does that mean you’ll never inspire another student to follow his or her dream at school visits?”
By jingo, she said it all! Happiness is not about money—it’s about how our passion makes us feel. My passion for illustrating and writing books has taken me a long way from my hometown of Dawson Springs. At the end of the day, I’ve never left my old Kentucky home, and I know I’ll receive a warm welcome in that very special place.
Residing in central Florida with my wife and two children, we have all made sacrifices during my illustrator life to inspire dreamers and readers for over a decade. I have a passion for the small-town lifestyle and the journey started for with my goals list written at Dawson Springs High School.