Creative Kid Thursday – Meet Illlustrator Taylor Galaska!

6 Feb

Hi there! How’s your day been? Mine has been doing pretty good. Y’know – reading, playing with LEGOs, and all that jazz. Oh yeah – and rejoicing. Why? Because we have Parent-Teacher Conferences today which means that we don’t have to go to school. Yup. NO SCHOOL AGAIN!!! WOO!!! (I could really get used to this…)

Today, do I have a treat for you! I have recently read “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” by Rhonda Paglia. Through Ms. Paglia, I have “met” Taylor Galaska, the illustrator of said book, which was written after the Sandy Hook School Shooting. I was impressed with Taylor’s art skills and also that he and Ms. Paglia turned their skills into a way of helping because all of the profits from the book go to the “Angels in Charge” Scholarship Fund that benefits students graduating from the Newtown School District who want to be elementary school teachers.

littlelambsThe Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission

by Rhonda Paglia and Taylor Galaska

42 pages – ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace on November 26, 2013

I had the pleasure of interviewing Taylor as a Creative Kid, because he is 15 now, and was 14 when he illustrated the book.

Erik: Can you tell us about “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission”?

Taylor: “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” is a children’s book written by Rhonda Paglia (a retired teacher) who got the whole story and set-up from God. The vision came to her after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut. While Rhonda was praying, she had a vision of God scooping up the children like lambs and taking them to Heaven with Him. The story is dedicated to the fallen teachers, staff, and students. The book is about 20 little lambs (representing the 20 students) who are asked by God to do a very important mission. The ‘Angels in Charge’ are 6 angels (representing the 6 teachers) who inform the lambs of the special mission. God takes the lambs to Heaven and tells them that the people on Earth have forgotten how to love one another. The lambs share the‘BE-attitudes’ that sent love to Earth and then they  run off to have a snack. The story is very relatable in the sense that children love to play and eat a snack after.

Erik: How did you get into illustrating?

Taylor: I have always loved drawing since I was little. And illustrating is just another form of drawing only my art is exposed to and enjoyed by more people. Both of my parents can draw as well.

Erik: You design and sell T-Shirts that donate the profits to an organization for the students and teachers of the Sandy Hook Elementary school. How did you get the idea to sell T-Shirts?

Taylor: I got the idea to design and sell T-shirts after the shooting. Two days after the massacre,  I designed the logo on the front and chose the words for the back. I wanted to create awareness against gun violence everywhere (specifically in schools).

Erik: Who is your favorite artist? How did s/he inspire you?

Taylor: I don’t have a favorite artist, but if I would have to pick an artist it would be Leonardo da Vinci. He inspired me because he did many works portraying religious scenes and figures and in “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission” my illustrations are religious images.

Erik: Where did you learn to draw? When did you realize that you could draw very well?

Taylor: I have always like to draw. According to my parents, I began drawing at a very young age. By age 5, I had relatives asking me to draw things for them. I started taking art classes at various places in the community.

Erik: Are you planning on illustrating more books?

Taylor: Rhonda Paglia and I might team up again to write and illustrate a sequel to her newest book called “Doonsey’s Beach Adventure, the Great Rescue”.

Erik: What would you like to be when you grow up?

Taylor: When I get older, I am not exactly sure what I want to do. Being an illustrator, architect, something in the medical field or something with history are professions I am considering.

More About Taylor:

I am a 15 year old freshman at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage, PA. I like to read, draw, and go to the movies with friends. I also collect antiques from everywhere in the United States. However, I specifically like to collect antiques from Sharon, PA where I live. I do a lot of volunteer work in my community. I volunteer at Sharon Regional Health System and am a part of many clubs at my school such as Action Club, Art Club, Environmental Science Club, and Spanish Club. I also participate in the Youngstown State University English Festival and the Pro-Life “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. and was awarded many awards including me meeting Senator Robert P. Casey Jr. to receive a letter congratulating me on my work with my T-shirt fundraiser. I am an altar server at St. Joseph’s Church in Sharon, PA where I received an award for outstanding commitment and work for the church and parish.

To learn more about Rhonda Paglia and all her books, please visit her Facebook page, click HERE, or her website, click HERE.

To learn more about “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission,” click HERE.

26 Responses to “Creative Kid Thursday – Meet Illlustrator Taylor Galaska!”

  1. Angela Brown February 6, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    So wonderful to get to know of this young man and his wonderful talent. He’s using his artistic ability in such blessed ways. Thanks so much for this introduction. Hope to hear about more of his work :-)

  2. jama February 6, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Enjoyed learning more about Taylor and the book. What a great idea to establish a scholarship fund to benefit aspiring teachers.

  3. Genevieve Petrillo February 6, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    What a special talent! And what a big heart. We love you, Taylor!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  4. Patricia Tilton February 6, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Liked learning about Taylor. Such a big heart and a lot of talent!

  5. readingwithrhythm February 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Another wondrous young man! Erik, you have a knack for finding some interesting, generous young people. Thanks for sharing.

  6. KidLitReviews February 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

    Wow, what a talented young man. Nice interview, Erik. You are becoming a reviewer to watch closely. No. I rescind that. You ARE the reviewer to imitate. No one does this better than you.

  7. Rhonda Paglia February 7, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    HI Erik – Thank you so much for interviewing Taylor. It was terrific!! Taylor is a wonderful young man and I am so grateful that he came to my rescued when I needed help with the illustrations for “The Little Lambs and the Very Special Mission.” I could not have completed this book without Taylor. I am so proud of him and all of his accomplishments at such a young age. And Erik, I am also very proud of you and what you are doing to share books and the love of reading with so many others!! Much love, Rhonda “Grammy Pags” Paglia of Grammy Pags Stories. <3

  8. Pragmatic Mom February 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    We had a snow day too Erik (Wednesday) but I am so glad my kids are back in school though two of mine missed most of the day to visit the doctor for their annual visit. They were happy about that. And two of kids also missed school on Tuesday to watch a musical in Boston which everyone in band, orchestra or chorus got to see (Hairspray, they loved it).

    Guess this was just a week for kids to miss school!!! LOL~

  9. stanleyandkatrina February 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    Ack, we had no power for two days and these pets were cold! Thankfully we are all back to normal now and catching up on our favorite blogs – like yours. You are an expert reviewer, Erik. It is so much fun to meet your interviewees through your questions. Congratulations, Taylor. We like your profession options.

  10. Michelle Isenhoff February 7, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    Very, very impressive!

  11. ontheplumtree February 7, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    A lovely talented kid with a big soul! And you do such great interviews, Erik!

  12. Daniel Johnston February 13, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    This is awesome, sounds like a great book. I’ve always looked up to people who can draw like that. That she’s using it as a force for good is just awesome.

  13. Myra GB March 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm #

    Good to know about another immensely talented kid! :)

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