Since she was three years old, Yvonne Page always wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. Her dream after graduating Middletown High School was to attend Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
However, fate had different plans for her. The day Yvonne graduated from high school was the same day her first son, Jacquai, was born. While this temporarily changed her initial college hopes, she gladly found nearby Middlesex Community College. Not only did she enroll as a student at MxCC, she has been a full-time employee there since 2010.
But first, Yvonne worked at a day care center and in retail before deciding she needed to go back to school to advance her career. She began classes in fine arts and graphic design at MxCC in 2002, and she enrolled her son in the preschool that was there at the time. Yvonne was also a student worker in the grants and marketing offices prior to graduating with an associate degree in 2005. Her freelance and part-time work with the College helped her land the full-time role of webmaster and graphics specialist.
Yvonne illustrated for several magazines and greeting card companies over the years. Now married with three boys, she shares comics about her life as well as the struggles and joys of being a mom with a large following on social media.
Never forgetting her childhood dream, Yvonne committed herself to completing the book she started 12 years ago, and in 2017 began her foray into writing and illustrating children’s books.
Drawn by hand using pen and ink, Yvonne scanned black and white illustrations for the book into Adobe Photoshop and layered them with scanned watercolor backgrounds. While the final drawings are enhanced and refined digitally, they authentically tell the story of a girl named Victoria and her pet cat. Entitled, “Stinky Poo,” the 40-page picture book also includes an activity section in the back for children to color and play games based on the story.
Yvonne credits Professor of Fine and Graphic Arts Judith de Graffenried for helping her with the first mock book she designed as a Middlesex student. She patiently learned about perspective drawing and watercolor from now retired teacher Lucinda Patrick. Yvonne is also grateful for the support from current faculty members Matt Weber and Rick Eriksen.
These days, you can find Yvonne in a quiet space upstairs in Founders Hall, producing projects ranging from the MxCC website to brochures and advertisements. She appreciates her time as a former MxCC student. “Financial aid, flexible hours, and the work-study program made everything easier for me when I was a single mother—as well as the support from my parents,” Yvonne said.
She hopes Jacquai, now 16, can also seek out his creative writing dream, possibly also at Middlesex.
To find the book online, visit yvonnepage.com.