In the spirit of The Zen of Seeing, my art experience has always

been about observing, learning, and connecting with the world.

That makes it sound like there have been no changes in my life

but, aaah, “what a long, strange, (roundabout) trip it’s been.”

 

I had two years of art school instruction, three years of

university liberal arts classes and fine art classes, received

Bachelor of Art Education degree, became a certified

Montessori teacher, and eventually earned an MFA in

illustration from Syracuse University.

 

I received on-the-job training in Graphic Design and spent

twelve years working in that field in a variety of positions.

I worked in the Education Department at Sea World creating

exhibit design and developing science education materials for

classroom teachers. For seven years I was a designer at

University Publications, Eastern Michigan University.

 

Since 1972 I have been a teacher and, over the years, I have

taught a variety of subjects at every level from nursery school

reading and math to senior citizen craft classes. In 1990 I was

hired as a professor at Grand Valley State University. I taught

graphic design, illustration, design history, drawing, and

watercolor painting for twenty-three years.

"Let your eyes fall on whatever happens to be in front of you. It may

 be a plant or bush or a tree, or perhaps it is just some grass. Close your  eyes for the next five minutes . . .

 

 Now open your eyes and focus on whatever you observed before —

 that plant or leaf or dandelion. Look it in the eye, until you feel it looking  back at you. Feel that you are alone with it on Earth! That it is the most  important thing in the universe, that it contains all the riddles of life and  death. It does! You are no longer looking, you are seeing."

 

 Frederick Franck, The Zen of Seeing. 1973

I began working as a freelance artist in 1970 exhibiting and

selling paintings at art fairs, galleries, and juried exhibitions and

taking on illustration projects. I have created illustrations for

individuals, businesses, universities, and publishing companies.

I have been honored by being included in two Society of

Illustrators invitational shows that opened in New York and

then traveled the country for several years.

 

And now I have come full circle. I am a full-time freelance

artist again working on a new series of paintings, writing and

illustrating a new children’s book, and giving public talks on

the history of advertising, illustration, and design.

 

I belong to organizations where there are people who inspire

me, help me, tell me when I’m going off track, and push me to

keep on keepin’ on.

 

Current memberships include:

• Society of Illustrators (educator membership)

• Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

• Michigan Watercolor Society

• Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild

• Ann Arbor Poetry Circle

• Ann Arbor Art Center

Ann Arbor, MI 48108 • 616.240.8646 • lorelleotis@gmail.com