Being a graphic designer means many, many hours of sitting and staring at a computer screen. I balance that out by hiking much as I can! In the past few years I have had so much fun learning about all of the edible and medicinal plants which grow all around us. In my research I was amazed to realize that I recognized every one of these plants, but I never knew their names or what they were good for. That got me to thinking - why don't we learn these things from a young age!?
An idea was born.....and then my world got turned upside down. I wasn't able to be at my computer, like I usually am....but I could use my tablet while on the go. I hadn't illustrated anything since I gave up my dream of becoming an illustrator many, many years ago. Back then I used colored pencils and drawing on an iPad was very new for me. The doubts krept in - could I even still draw like I used to?The following months entailed us sitting by my moms bedside - in and out of rehabs and hospitals not knowing what to do or how to help. While she slept, I drew and prayed. She was the most important person in my life and she always encouraged me to be exactly who I was. She grew up in Millvale - a city girl. My dad moved her into the woods of Green Tree - before houses lined their streets. She'd wake up to snakes on the patio and bats flying around the house (they would fly down the chimney before they covered it with a screen) and wonder why she agreed to this country style of life. I grew up loving everything about being outdoors. All of the weird creatures - getting dirty and muddy. Talking to the plants. She always supported all of my pursuits, as did my father and I am so thankful to both of them for that. It is their fearless outlook on life that allows me to have an idea and follow through with it without worrying about the how's or the why's. We are told to plan and to think about the big picture, all the while we are seeing the world as we always understood it to crumble beneath our feet. Sometimes you have to turn off the screens. Ignore all of the have-to's and create something - just because God tells you to try.
Now my parents are gone, just like their parents before them. My own children are adults, who have their own goals and dreams to chase. I am now elevated to the position of the Wise Woman. It is my turn to pass along all of the things that I have learned along the way and to help the children navigate these very difficult times. I see them, and they aren't doing well. They are handed too many adult issues at too young of an age. They need us to protect their innocence and to allow them to learn about the world outside of their door and what makes them tick, before they are expected to somehow save this crazy world.
I am More Than "Just" a Weed gets children outdoors learning about all of the common weeds which grow in their backyards, woods and fields. When they grow to an appropriate age they will then be able to use the knowledge they learned in this book to forage for edible and medicinal plants.
My goal is to create an entire line of books and other products which will encourage people of all ages to get outside and discover the amazing plants which grow all around us.
I hope you like it. ~Audra