Celebrate! This is the newest (and possibly most exciting) part of my website, where I introduce the people who inspire me to live more creatively and authentically. It’s a celebration of their creativity and the joy it brings to those touched by it.

I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt who my first official ‘Celebrate Profile’ would be on—Carrol Evans, the illustrator of my book, ‘Encounters’.

Carrol and I went to the same church for about twenty years and lived within a few kilometres of each other. Ironically, it was only in the last year (and once she had moved 600km’s away) that I came to know and truly appreciate Carrol and her beautiful art.

It all began when I was looking for an artist. I didn’t know very many. Then I remembered the gentle, soft-spoken woman with laughter-filled eyes who used to attend our church. I chose well, for from the moment I shared the idea of ‘Encounters’ with Carrol, she caught the vision and became not only my artist, but my staunchest ally on the project. She told me afterwards how much (and why) she enjoyed working on the book.

“God is my motivator for life. I believe He is the giver of gifts and the gift is for the benefit of others, which is why I enjoyed working on ‘Encounters’ so much. If I had a theme for my life it would be ‘Bring Life!’ based on Jesus’ example and words in John 10:10.”

Shy, unassuming Carrol was slightly taken aback when I asked if I could interview her for this article. “I confess to wanting to be a bit of an ostrich and wonder if I have the courage to peel back this curtain,” she said. But then she proceeded to graciously give me (and you) a look into what inspires her and how she goes about creating her art.

Here are some of Carrol’s illustrations and paintings, coupled with her insights into her own process of inspiration and creativity.

She did, however, redo the cover of ‘Encounters’ four times, but it’s my favourite painting of all (and yes, that might be because it’s gracing my book). Here is her original painting, and how it ultimately looked on the cover:

Carrol didn’t just do the cover; she did a pencil illustration for every chapter of my book (20 in all). They capture every encounter beautifully. Here are just two of them.

Carrol has touched many with her light-filled art and life, and I am grateful to be able to call her my friend.