“Children are born artists,” declares Jeannie Richardson.
Free from the crippling inhibitions and self-doubt that adults face, they can express themselves artistically with blithe abandon.
Now, thanks to Richardson’s online art and photography service, Me Art, adults can reclaim their own inner-Picassos.
The concept is simple: Send Richardson your most cherished pictures (either electronically or the traditional way), and then customize them by choosing the size, color, style, design, font and medium. It’s boundless creativity with very little effort—you dream it up, Richardson makes it so.
A former creative director at the public relations firm Leo Burnett and mother of three boys (Reece, 4; Colin, 3; and Drew, 6 months), Richardson’s idea for Elmhurst-based Me Art was born partly out of frustration. While decorating then-newborn Reece’s nursery, Richardson found there was “nothing original or unique” to liven up the space.
Bored with generic designs, Richardson found herself playing around on the computer, applying different colors and effects to her favorite photographs—and voila! The first Me Art was created. From there, Me Art just “took off!” as friends began asking Richardson to refashion their own Kodak moments into great art.
Great art, Richardson says, is “emotionally moving,” and what could be more moving than pictures of those you love? Allowing others to personalize their photos deepens the significance of the artwork, and Richardson is proud to help “make that connection for others.”
But, she warns: “If you don’t love the picture, you won’t love the art.” Richardson adheres strongly to this philosophy; if she feels a photograph lacks that certain something special, she will strongly discourage her client from choosing it.
In addition to being an entrepreneur, Richardson is a philanthropist who is deeply passionate about arts education. She donates Me Art to various schools throughout Chicago and the North Shore.
Richardson feels art programs are fundamental to a child’s development—they promote creativity that “ultimately leads to a greater imagination.” She encourages parents to display art in their homes, explaining, “Art in your home that children can relate to can foster an even greater interest in art and can help them see themselves in a creative light.”
For more information about Me Art, click here.