As I type this post  in my toasty-warm little studio… it is SO quiet.

This... is a rarity.

Usually, there is a lot of noise.

I have music playing, the pencil sharpener is whirring, my phone is beeping or I'm gibbering away (to myself) trying to work out some piece of artwork, or part of a story.

I'm loud.

I talk loudly, I laugh loudly, I love action, and hustle and bustle, and exclamation points!!!

But I have a very dear friend who has taught me the value of quiet...


Miss Juana Martinez Neal.




Juana is quiet. Thoughtful. Soulful. Contemplative. Patient.

And  these beautiful qualities which she possesses come through in her work, and in the way she works with others.

For example, our Mini Interviews.




If not for Juana, they wouldn't exist.

Every year, she patiently helped Laura, Mikela and I pull everything together.

Sifting though emails, organizing schedules, talking us through technical difficulties, directing our focus…

Keeping us on task while running amok with her own deadlines must be like trying to herd cats!

Yet Juana does it with humor, ease and grace.





And we couldn't put the Mini Interview series to bed without saying a very BIG thank you- to the wonderful Juana, who made it all possible.




If you haven't already- and even if you have- go spend a quiet moment or two, or three, looking at her work.

Then get loud and tell everyone you know about it- because it's definitely worth shouting about.