The chance to be a part of a published book and record a CD is something many people dream about. This opportunity was presented to three students from Mount St. Mary Academy.
Brianna Kincaid and Sara Bingham are both seniors who recently illustrated a published coloring book called “Be the One!”
Both were sophomores when teacher and children’s author Tim O’Shei asked his class if anyone wanted to help him out with a coloring book he planned to create. Both girls thought it would be a fun experience and decided to help.
“At first I thought that we were just coming up with ideas and then someone was going to draw them,” Brianna said, “but in the end it was just me and Sara who actually ended up doing it.”
The opportunity to have a published book featuring her art was something that Sara never imagined, but when she was presented with the chance to be a part of the coloring book team, she believed this project was right up her alley.
Although Sara is hoping to study science or math, she has been drawing as a hobby for years. Despite the fact that she has always loved drawing and coloring, and has taken multiple classes, art isn’t her career choice.
“I never considered a real career in art or graphic design,” said Sara. “Publication was for the real artists and graphic designers, not me.”
Like her fellow classmate, Brianna has been drawing since she was young. When she got to high school, she took art classes and her experience expanded. Throughout high school, Brianna has won multiple art contests, including the Holocaust Resource Center Art and Writing Contest. Over the summer between her sophomore and junior years, she attended classes at the Art Institute of Boston.
And, surprisingly, Brianna also isn’t planning on a career in the art world. Just like Sara, she is planning on studying something science-related. Even though they aren’t planning on professionally continuing their art careers, they both said they loved working on the book.
“It’s just more than I ever thought it would be,” Sara said. “And even though I’ve buckled down and am getting ready for my real career, I love still being able to do what makes me happy.”
Brianna took charge and became the lead illustrator as the girls created the images for the book, using the song lyrics from the original song “Be the One!,” written by O’Shei and Grammy-nominated producer Anthony Casuccio.
This coloring book created opportunities for other students as well.
For senior Francesca Harvey, it was the chance to work on a recording for the CD, which is being released by Live! Starring ... You!, the same organization that published the book. The CD will feature “Be the One!”
Both the song and the coloring book express the message of following your dreams and continuing to do what makes you happy. Francesca definitely embodies this idea.
“I am absolutely following my own dreams,” she said. “And I think it’s important for kids to have a goal to work toward. That way they can always know that they’re pushing themselves, which can really improve self-esteem and inspire others.”
At a release party last weekend at Performing Arts Dance Academy in Hamburg, dreams were the focus of the night. As part of this theme, everyone who attended the party got to meet professional dancer and choreographer Geo Hubela, the founder of ICONic Dance Crew and the ICONic Boyz from MTV. Since his dancing career started, Hubela has had the chance to work with artists such as Justin Timberlake, the late Michael Jackson, P!nk and many more.
“My goal is to inspire as many people as I can,” Hubela said.
In addition to meeting Hubela, partygoers were given the chance to be featured on the “Be the One!” CD, which is currently in production.
Mount St. Mary Academy senior Jordann Luce worked with Frontier High School senior Colin Gwitt to record the dreams of kids at the release party.
“It was definitely inspiring to hear all these kids’ dreams,” said Colin.
“Be the One!” will soon be available online at Amazon.com and at Monkey See Monkey Do ... Children’s Bookstore in Clarence. For more information, visit timoshei.com or livestarringyou.com.
Amelia Gilmer is a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy.