Even though she spent most of her childhood in New Jersey, Lindsay was actually born in the Caribbean and spoke Spanish as her first language. When she moved to the states, she struggled to learn the language and discovered her love for art by looking at the pictures of fairy tale books that she was unable to read.
Discouraged at an Early Age
Who would have thought that this award-winning author and illustrator was told by her sixth grade teacher that she could not write? It would be 23 years before she felt brave enough to write and submit something for an editor.
Uses her Life and Family as Inspiration
It is said that every great author writes only what they know. George has proven that in her work over the years. When she lived in New York City, she created stories about the street dogs she encountered and in college, she illustrated an entire world populated by pillows – something every college student has had a tumultuous and all-consuming love affair with. She also uses her children and pets as characters and their real life family experiences to form the stories in her books. Her son, William befriending a Canada goose named Boomer who they met in Pennsylvania, would turn into her first published book. Her daughter Campbell also appears in many of her works. Barrett certainly demonstrates to writers how important it is to pay attention to one’s surroundings and be true to self, not chasing after some false inspiration but noticing the beauty in one’s own life instead. In her own words: ‘Every little mouse, every dog, every child has stories to tell.’
She Gives Back to her Audience
Many artists are content to take inspiration from their surroundings, create their work and then move on to the next thing without too much interaction with the people consuming it. Lindsay Barrett George however, prefers to actively engage with her audience. She gives regular presentations at grade schools, which include interactive sessions for both children and teachers. She helps them draw and tell stories based on what is around them. She also conducts several workshops about children’s book publishing for other prospective writers and illustrators.
She is Living her Dream
Lindsay Barrett George is one of the few people who can say they are living the life they imagined as a child. She has had an interest in drawing and writing about nature and the animals around her since she was little, and has the rare privilege of making a living doing just that. According to her website, ‘For a little girl whose passion was drawing birds and fish and flowers and trees, to end up as an artist and book maker whose passion is drawing birds and fish and flowers and trees…it doesn’t get any better.’
By Klieon John