WHAT AN HONOR!
The Children’s Book Council has selected you for a March feature on the Girl Scouts Studio.
“There are canvases, stories and songs deep inside our soul just waiting for a spark to ignite its brilliance.” -Judy Cooley
Judy Cooley was born the same year Ford came out with the Mustang and she was named after Judy Garland who is Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” so, Judy thought she would be a movie star when she grew up and would drive a Mustang. But Judy always wanted to be an artist and author. She loved coloring and painting as a child. “I even faked being sick one day so I could stay home to finish a paint by numbers of a horse.”
Judy’s first art lessons were at the age of 10. “I remember the thrill of buying real oil paints, brushes and canvas. I loved learning art! My parents proudly framed and hung all my art on the walls like real art, and would show it off to visitors. Looking at those paintings now, I realize that was so kind of them because they weren’t pretty and even clashed with the décor, but what it did for my confidence as an artist was beautiful! I will always be so grateful for their belief in me. I grew up believing I could be anything I wanted to be!”
Judy started in fine art in college as an art major at Weber State University. She was able to be a stay at home mom as she launched into her art career. She displayed in museums, art shows and competitions across the nation. It was while visiting in New York that she walked into the ‘School of Illustration’ to see the display of children books illustrations. While viewing those paintings she received that spark or “Ah ha” moment when she knew that was what she wanted to be doing.
“I Love You More” her first book published in 2005 was a life long dream come true. It was in the making for 10 years while she raised her children, painted and tried to figure out the publishing world. “Never give up on your dreams!” Judy says about those days. “Mom Says I Can” was released in 2008, it was the first time she painted for the sole purpose of a book enjoying every minute of the creative process. She secretly would tell you this is her favorite book because of the journey to create it. “I Want To Be A Mommy” was released for Mothers day 2012. It’s this book that really beings to light that Judy writes with a purposeful message. “I want something to stir inside as you look at the illustrations and read the story, there are some old fashion values like God, Family and believing in one’s self that I want as my works legacy.”
Judy is a wife, a mother of four and a grandma. They are her inspiration and greatest joy.
Judy is currently working on the “next” book, and hopes to be creating all of her life; she says, “ There’s so much I want to paint, write and sing about!”