When I finished writing the first book and felt it was time to have it illustrated, my husband told me he would do it. This was back in 2007. My husband tried to draw the character, but I had it in my head how I wanted the character to look. I always knew he would have to be cute and adorable. I always knew Loopiethotamus would be wearing a hippo suit with a zipper and his initial “L” would be hanging from his zipper. My husband decided it was time for us to search for an illustrator.I prayed about it and heard the Holy Spirit tell me to continue writing and an illustrator would come. So I did just that. I continued writing and a few weeks later my husband suggested I go onto a website called Elance.com where freelance artists request work. My friend Nicole and I went onto the website and posted the job of illustrating my book. About thirty illustrators applied for the job. I checked out all of their work and was blown away by the illustrations done by artist Mike Swaim. There was this one drawing he had done with a duck in a pond at night with twinkling stars in the sky. I always remembered picturing Loopiethotamus under the stars. I chose Mike and our connection started from there.
Mike and I talked a lot about what I wanted out of the illustrations. I found that he was easy going and always available to answer any questions or concerns I may have had. He drew the rough sketches of Loopiethotamus and my heart almost leaped as I saw my beloved character that I had inside of me for five years coming to life. Everything that I ever hoped for in Loopiethotamus was being formed.
I always write out all of my illustrations for my books before giving it all to my illustrator to illustrate for me. He draws them in the way that I request, but always manages to add little touches to them and I really love that. My illustrator Mike and I are in sync with one another and I think in all aspects of your life it’s really important to make sure things flow well.
I am so blessed to have found such a wonderful illustrator in Mike Swaim and I look forward to working on many more projects with him. It is so critical to never give up on what you want and to strive hard to make your dreams come true. In believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, I know He will help me to attain the dreams and goals I have for myself and He will do more in seeing them come to life right before my eyes.