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Creating Characters and Building Character

I love to create new characters for stories. I watch children at play and try my best to capture their facial expressions and body movements. I love the sweet and snarky ones. The ones with glasses or freckles. Perhaps in a wheelchair or have a big purple birthmark on their face or shorten leg or arm. All children.

Back in the day it was said that children who wore glasses were not interesting enough for the cover of books and they even said that brown faced children should never ever grace the cover of any children's book. It is my hearts JOY to put black children on the cover of books. When children don't see themselves it sends a message of, you are not good or beautiful enough to be seen. I want my melanated babies to know that they are indeed beautiful, powerfully important and yes, that they matter. I want my white babies to know that I see you as well. I often tell these babies and young people that," There is no one in the world that is better than you and you are no better than anyone else on the planet. Our children are valuable and precious. Character is built at home.

Racism is TAUGHT. All day everyday. So many parents often say, " I don't teach my children to see color or to hate." Children watch EVERYTHING WE DO. Good or bad they see. When you call yourself ugly and fat, they hear you. Your conversations they are listening to every single word. When we call people out of their names or say negative things about another culture, they hear it loud and clear. We are the first teachers. I don't like when people say," I don't see color", cause you don't see me! I am a proud woman of color and I come from people of color and I have been gifted to see and meet many different people from all over the world and that brings such richness to my life as an person, wife, mother, illustrator and storyteller. I don't have time to judge you by your skin oh, but I am checking out your character!! The content of your character is everything. We are not perfect, but there is something so beautiful about people who know they are flawed, but do their very best to be the best person that they can be. We may fall down a few times, but it's not about how many times you fall, it's about how many times you get up and keep moving forward. This is what builds character.

Be the best YOU that you can be for yourself and to others and watch what happens. When you become that healthy vibe you WILL attract the same. Have a great day and keep shining your positive light!


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