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Meet Maddie Saunders of maddiewiththeglasses

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maddie Saunders.

Maddie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It was 1993, and I was in kindergarten. My mom had just come to pick me up from school, and I was hanging around the classroom, I specifically remember that I was thinking about starfish. While my mom talked to my teacher, I overheard her say I was doing well with art projects. My mom was excited to hear that, and so was I. The seed was planted and from then on I dropped all plans of becoming a paleontologist or a veterinarian. I wanted to be an artist.

I was so privileged to have parents and teachers who supported me throughout my life. My schools had really amazing art programs, and for that, I am incredibly thankful. My family knew that I enjoyed being creative and so they surrounded me with anything to fuel that fire from violin lessons, ballet, and choir to getting me books and CDs and watching old movies with me. I was encouraged to learn and be creative.

In high school, I was able to explore different paths of art. My high school was literally up the street from ArtCenter College of Design, so I was able to take classes there as well. I then went to Pasadena City College where I built a portfolio, fell in love with printmaking, and started putting on gallery shows. A few years later I ended up graduating from ArtCenter College of Design.

I am now at a point in my life where I am able to give back and encourage young artists, creatives, or just young minds to learn. I am currently teaching art and leading workshops in art. One of my most fulfilling moments was leading a workshop at a school that does not have an art program. It was incredible to see how quickly the students gravitated towards creating. Their pieces were meaningful, and they were all eager to share. I was so overjoyed by the experience!

Along with teaching, I am working as an illustrator including writing and illustrating children’s books. I think it is incredibly important for children to be exploring and learning while having fun. My goal is to create a bit of magic and wonder for them as they learn.

Has it been a smooth road?
Every day is different. For me, there are days when I struggle to even make work at all.

But there are also days when everything is coming up Milhouse, and things works out. I think that what it comes down to is if you have passion for anything, just keep doing it. If you know something isn’t working, find another way and keep moving forward.

Whenever I am struggling to make my work, I will force myself to do anything at all just so that I don’t stop. I have hundreds of little doodles on scrap paper. I know they aren’t necessarily good drawings, but it’s something to keep my mind active and in the groove of making something. Struggles are bound to happen. What matters is that you work through them.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with maddiewiththeglasses – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
At the core of it all, I make work that is about the human experience. Whether it is a personal piece, a piece for a client, or part of a children’s book, I want to make something that the viewer can relate to; something that is genuine and sincere.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and the least?
I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life, it’s such a cool city. We definitely have the best food, and it is full of culture. There’s so much to see as well. I love seeing the smattering of architecture and how we have mountains, deserts, beaches, cities, all around us. I could live without the traffic and the malls though.

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