I'm an artist, by nature and by profession. I'm a writer, a photographer, a cartoonist and illustrator, a storyteller, a husband, and a Dad. Each of these is an art (especially the husband and Dad roles).
I've been a Professional Photographer for years, growing up with a camera in my hand hanging out around my father's commercial photography studio. While my father specialized in commercial photography, I specialize in Weddings and Portraits, and more specifically under the Portrait heading, one of my big focuses is kids.
My Professional Photography website is http://www.mattballardphotography.com
Through my kid's photography projects, I help raise money for local Children's Hospitals. The Children of Ontario is my baby. http://www.childrenofontario.com
I love working with kids, and I love seeing the gleam in parent's eyes when I show them some amazing photos I've taken of their children.
I've been a writer since I can remember. My Mum still has stories I wrote as a young child and all through-out my teen-age years. I wrote my first novel when I was 19. It didn't get published outside of my own computer printer, but it was a very rewarding experience. Since then, over the years I've writen on a host of different topics.
As a Professional Photographer, photography is obviously one of my favourite topics, and I write frequently about it on my website Art of the Image. http://artoftheimage.blogspot.com
More recently, I've started cartooning and illustrating. I've done this off and on over the years, but I had the idea to add a regular cartoon, Uncle Bob's Photo, to the Art of the Image, and I've been loving the process. So far the reader response has been fantastic, and I look forward to growing the readership through this addition to the site.
Writing children's books came naturally for me. It was simply the process of finding time to put some of the stories I'm always making up for my kids, Lilly and Ella, and my nieces, Chloe and Berlynn, onto paper (or the computer screen).
Children's stories are wonderful things. They make the eyes of little people light up with laughter, surprise, and imagination, and they reach into the adults and touch the child that still resides within each of us.
I hope you have as much fun reading these stories with your kids as I do.
Never lose the child inside you!