In 2005 years after being hit by a car, doctors told Sechelt artist/author Sheila Leigh Williams to take a minimum of three years off work. This was when her research and production of kids books began.
She had predicted then that there would be a future need to have off-screen activities such as the physical act of colouring and creating, and is very proud to finally be able to offer that. With screen detox vacations becoming the norm, Williams’ new book Funky Art and Fun for Everyone and its old school fun hits that mark.
Having moved far away to pursue this project she tried and tested various designs, created games and developed her style. Returning to the Coast for production, her first book made it to print and the international market this past September on Amazon. Talewind Books in Sechelt gets to be the first physical location to carry her fun activity book.
The underlying theme of the this book is positive and educational with just enough challenge to push folks creatively in ways this day and age have lost. Genre headings fall under self-cultivation, adult/all ages colouring and art therapy, great for any kind of groups or alternative collectives.
Williams’ business Whirled Wide Designs was also born in the summer of 2019 and amazing hand-painted products based on some designs in the book are now available through her online shop at www.whirledwidedesigns.com. You’ll find sea life, stars, flying shapes and arrows, etc. now on T-shirts, tote bags and other creations. Perhaps you saw the giant shooting star this summer in front of Gibsons’ first lantern parade, also produced at the Whirled Wide Studio.
Your last chance this year to meet the author of Funky Art and Fun for Everyone and related products in person will be this Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Farm Gate Market in the Masonic Hall in Roberts Creek.
At the market and through direct contact, you can get a three-book deal for $35 until the 24th. Williams will also have a raffle set up at her booth for your chance to win a hand-painted tote bag with glow in the dark fish features. These canvas bags are sturdy enough to last for years of hauling, a great gift for anyone.
Living with disability has challenged the author to recreate her life working with what she has left, something she believes others can relate to. The book’s funky hand-drawn terrain makes the point that we are all artists if we take time to create. Williams has let perfection and correctness take a back seat with focus more on dedication to creation and a feeling of accomplishment. “If I can do art, anyone can,” she says. Encouraging folks of all ages to save their money and use this book to create greeting cards or gifts is another goal.
In the new year Williams will be offering greeting card workshops, one of the projects in the book, as well a producing a paint-your-own T-shirt for future public markets.
You may also see her Whirled Wide presence in schools or offices as she is planning to set up stations for returning dried out felt pens wherever applicable. Since felts may be used in her book to colour, Williams feels the need to help properly dispose of these toxic toys by getting them back to companies like Crayola and Staples who have programs in place to do so. You can contact her directly to set up your own station for dried pen pick up.
For more information or to see products in the online store, see the Whirled Wide Designs website at www.whirledwidedesigns.com or go to the Funky Art and Fun for Everyone Facebook page.