Over the years we have kept a daily online farm & studio journal and have attracted a wonderful community of friends and followers that share a love of John’s photography and fine art, our animal companions on the farm and the stories we tell about living and working as artists, writers and farmers.
We also have a “Someday-List”. You know the one, the list of dreams, creative projects and ideas just waiting for the “right time” to become a reality.
In late winter of 2015, as we were telling the story of a sick lamb we were nursing through a hurt leg, our followers started saying “You should make this into a children’s book!” The same request kept getting repeated, as hundred’s of followers joined in the request. We thought long and hard, “Writing a children’s book together” was on our “Someday-List!” It would mean taking at least a year off, taking no new clients in our creative services and consulting work and taking a big leap of faith to self-publish our first book. (Minimum printing of 4,000 books!)
We decided- if not now, when? Our friends and family believed in us and we believed in each other, so we took a deep breath and took the “dream” off the list and got to work. We launched a 45-day crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the production of the book. To our disbelief (and delight) we hit our funding goal in under 15 hours!
Every step of the way we involved our on-line friends and followers by sharing the art, design, process and storyline. Thousands of followers gave “real-time” feedback, offers of assistance and encouragement. We received letters and calls and messages of how our stories were positively impacting their lives. What we experienced was so profound and moving, it has become one of the most inspiring highlights of our personal and professional lives.
We published and delivered our first book Sweet Pea & Friends, The SheepOver in August of 2015 to our faithful friends and followers. Through their generosity of support, we were also able to donate over 200 books to libraries, public schools, children’s hospitals and orphanages around the world. In early 2017 we will officially be launching the Sweet Pea & Friends Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to literacy and animal welfare through stories and art to continue giving back in gratitude.
After this amazing experience, we knew we would write another book but we never expected what happened next.