07 May Sommer Maxwell
Why did you become a children’s illustrator?
Learning has always been a passion of mine which is why I’ve explored all kinds of hats from being a 4th grade teacher…a stay at home mom…a family yoga teacher…and now a collage artist! I’ve always loved kids and I’m a lifetime learner. I wanted to share my whimsical, colorful collage so that families can connect while learning, exploring and just being creative together.
What project are you most proud of? What do children learn or understand from it? Why is that important?
Honestly, I think just putting my work out there for the first time took courage. I want to show kids that they can do the same. We are all artists in one way or another, and what makes us unique is what makes our art unique. I want to encourage kids (and adults!) to enjoy open ended play and to use their imagination to see the world through their unique lens. If we enjoy the process of creating, we will be open to new and unexpected possibilities.
What are you itching to draw or illustrate next?
I love anything having to do with nature, animals or the garden. Sharing those little moments happening outdoors is so important, especially now. I plan to spend the next several weeks using our garden as my muse and documenting everything from the little pillbug/roly-poly, to the cardinals making a nest in our rose arch to the cucumber plants making their way up the trellis in the garden bed.
Tell us about your latest project. Where can it be purchased?
My latest project has been with Veggielution in San José, CA. For the last 5 weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to create activities for the families that are part of Eastside Connect in East San José. The farm boxes that go to families are filled with fresh veggies from the farm as well as resources for families to give them a little extra bit of joy in their day, information on growing their own veggies, and an activity that parents, grandparents, and caregivers can do with their kids.
Although the activities I made for Veggielution are not for sale on my website, I do have some of my collage artwork for sale on Society 6 right now, and I have a collage tutorial for kids in the works as well as a plan to sell my ready to go collage papers for kids and adults looking for a go to meditative activity. The collage papers will be ready to print, cut, and play! We ALL need more chances to play.
Sommer Maxwell is a collage artist who creates colorful art both traditionally and digitally. Her whimsical artwork is inspired by her daily life with a childlike wonder. She creates art to share with her community, to inspire joy and encourage connection.
Images © Sommer Maxwell. Used with permission.