Leisure & Travel
Liz Meyer in Chicago, IL
Children's Book Illustrator and Certified Foster Parent: Treading Softly, Justly, and Kindly
Liz in her own words...
It’s the kind of story I’d like to (and do) read to my own kids. And it’s a cool, local project started up by other independent artists in the city. What’s not to love?
2. The giraffe is left uncolored for the reader to personalize, which is a genius way to tie in reading with art. As an illustrator, how did this concept affect your creative process?
This book has been a totally collaborative effort, which kept my work loose and flexible. Most of my illustrating efforts were done in conjunction with the writer and character designer. And everything is totally ready for the kids (and adults!) who read this book to finish with their own creative stylings.
"Life is never a straight-forward path. There are country songs and poems that say it better, but I just think life is full of possibilities that can’t come about on our own time schedule."
This is my favorite part of the whole illustrator bit. I love seeing how people color in both the book and disguises. They are interacting with this stuff I drew; bringing it to life, and making it a million times more fun and beautiful!
4. You dreamt of being a Children’s Book Illustrator in college, but life steered you in different directions. You volunteered with Americorps to teach adult learners English, worked for the public library system, and coordinated service learning opportunities for college kids. What nugget of advice would you share with a woman that feels her dream seems too late to start or finish?
Life is never a straight-forward path. There are country songs and poems that say it better, but I just think life is full of possibilities that can’t come about on our own time schedule. We just have to be open to them.
5. As of March 2015, you and your husband, Dave, became Certified Foster Parents. You endured a very in-depth process that included: being fingerprinted, interviewed, and twenty-seven hours of classes. What resources did you use to help navigate and support you through the process?
We have great friends and family who have encouraged us along the way, watched our biological children while we were in class (shout out to all of you fantastic people) and checked in with us to be sure we knew what we were getting into. Our best supporter is probably our preschooler, who, each time our licensing worker comes by, asks “Did she bring the kids yet?”
6. You and your husband have huge hearts! Even with two kids of your own, you both decided to open your home and your lives to foster kids. What do you hope you and your kids take away from this experience?
People may come in and out of our lives - and if we can love them generously, I believe we will all be the better for it. I imagine we will be loading up on relationships and character. And I think both will be great for us all.
"Our best supporter is probably our preschooler, who, each time our licensing worker comes by, asks “Did she bring the kids yet?”"
What drives me, huh? Have I told you I didn’t get my license until I was 22 years old? I was nervous I’d sneeze and hit a squirrel while my eyes were closed. I think my aim is mainly to tread softly, justly, and kindly.
8. I’m curious, what’s next for you?
Life is never a straight-forward path, right? I’m just going to stay open to the possibilities.
9. I Admire U, who do you admire?
I am blessed to be surrounded by admirable women. My hard-working, high-achieving mom, my intelligent, life-loving little sister, my tenacious baby girl, a slew of amazing friends. I could tell you dozens of life stories from the people I’ve worked with in my time as an AmeriCorps volunteer and college advisor, and just getting started in foster care as well. I think there are so many people to admire and stories to learn from wherever we are.