Hi! I am Laura Kelly, the artist and creator of Me and My Peeps. This is Me.
This is my family.
And this is my story.
When I was little, I loved to draw, to play and to use my imagination. I was encouraged and loved by my family and though my childhood, I created a world of little people that lived all around my house, literally. I had TONS of Fisher Price Little People (the old fashioned kinds with ball heads on peg bodies) and I made them homes from shoe boxes and other recyclable materials. The families lived under my bed, behind the steps, under the china cabinet, in the guest bedroom and anywhere else I could tuck them away. I knew them all by names and knew which family they belonged to. They all lived happily in my house and through this play, I created stories and dreams that eventually made their way onto paper.
I drew, A LOT. I traced coins to make heads and then added bodies and stylish clothing and accessories. I drew on scrap paper, my mom’s checks from her checkbook and whatever else I could find. I drew and drew and drew until I STOPPED in seventh grade. I wrote a note to a boy on my bus, you know the “DO YOU LIKE ME, check YES or NO” kind. I doodled on it and after a few days built up the confidence to give it to him. He laughed at me and crumpled it up saying it looked like a kindergartner wrote it. My heart broke and I put my markers away.
I thought about drawing and creating for years upon years, through high school and then at the University of Kentucky where I got my degree in elementary education. I thought about it s while I taught school but never let myself break free from my fear of ridicule.
I didn’t doodle until I was married and pregnant and designed my son’s birth announcement. It was the start of an amazing adventure. My friends loved it and asked me to draw things for them. I felt totally empowered and free. That was in 1995. I started drawing again and I haven’t stopped since. The stationery making thing became a career and grew to where I could no longer create it without lots of employees and support to meet the demand. In 2003 I was approached at the National Stationery Show in New York City by Checks in the Mail with interest in licensing my characters to be used on bank checks. They sent a contract. I signed it without reading it and sent the artwork back with the agreement.. Ten years later, I still LOVE working with them and have lots of other companies I license with too. It is a fascinating career, one I didn’t know was possible until I took the risks to create and share my designs with the world.
The characters (Me and My Peeps) have grown with me and there are now lots and lots of Peeps to keep me company in my imaginary world. They are popular now on products manufactured by Plaid Enterprises, Leap Year Publishing, Leanin Tree, Thirstystone, Buttons Galore, General Fabrics and Expressionery.
And that’s the story of Me and My Peeps! Visit their blog, filled with adventure and fun.
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11 thoughts on “Me and My Peeps – The Story and The Brand”
Love the story! And loved that you found your art again after so many years.
Thanks for sharing! So happy the Peeps were born to bring smiles to many faces.
What a great story! I have a couple of UK fans that live in my house…and a couple of U of L fans too! I’m glad your story had such a happy ending. Looking forward to meeting you at Bloggy Conference 13 in a few weeks!
From one Laura Kelly to another (there are a lot of us out there), just had to say that I love your story (boo to mean boys on buses, yay to your friends) and your artwork. I just came across it on the Expressionery site, and loved how colorful, cute, and full of personality it is. I think my favorite thing, though is your lettering. You should make a font out of it!
Thanks Laura Kelly! I have a bunch of fonts that I use in my designs and yes, I should offer them for others. I will have to figure out how to do that. 🙂
I love this so much! I am going to share where it lives in my home very soon. Stay tuned. I love it love it love it love it!!!