I sat down over the New Year with the gifted writer and illustrator behind The Shticks – a family of stick figures who have amazing adventures and do wonderful things together. She has pulled together some of her favorite cartoons to create her very first book. While drawing stick figures may not be unique in itself, Veronica’s characters are stylized and hip! So hip in fact, that fellow writer Elizabeth Gilbert shared Veronica’s stick portrait of her with all her followers. She actually said she loved her Shtick image!
Veronica’s story is quite unique in that her characters are stylized. With a wide, beaming smile, she draws everyone she meets into her circle, and is offering people an opportunity to have a special moment in their lives appear in a personalized version of her first book. Her dearest wish is to help people keep their memories forever in a cartoon!
Born in Brazil, and raised by American parents, Veronica now lives in Pennsylvania, which she loves. Married with two beautiful daughters, she never wants to leave. I asked her how she began her journey with the Shtick family, and she shyly admitted that she has never revealed that true story until now!
“The flushing mechanism above the toilet in my room at my parents’ house wasn’t working one Summer. My dad, trying to figure out the problem, had removed a box that was attached to the connecting pipes right above the toilet, thus creating a hole on the wall. To make the toilet flush in the meantime you had to physically pour enough water down the bowl with a bucket–and that’s how I was making do while my mom was trying to get someone to come and fix the problem.
That Summer we were having guests, and a girl asked to use my bathroom since the others were occupied. I completely forgot to tell her about the flushing problem and sent her on her way to use it.
She came to me minutes later, looking embarrassed, to let me know she didn’t know how to flush it. I told her to locate the bucket under the sink and use it to carefully pour water down the toilet. She came back later, even more embarrassed, to let me know it wasn’t working.
I quickly thought about what she might be doing wrong, then I asked again if she was pouring the water down the toilet bowl. As realization came over her in rushes, she started to laugh uncontrollably. She had been pouring water down the hole on the wall, and not down the toilet bowl.
I laughed with her. We couldn’t stop! Now, mind you, this was a very smart girl. It was just one of those things that you do that makes you ask, “What was I thinking?”
Later that day, she came to me again with a little booklet she had made for me: She had hand-drawn the whole toilet fiasco using two fictitious regular stick people characters. We laughed all over again at the characters, at the faces they made, at the incident–and now I had a record of the funny event forever!
It was after that that I stopped drawing my life-like drawings and started making my own stick people to document and record funny things that happened to me, family and friends. I got absolutely hooked on that feeling of sharing the funny moments with the people involved. I wish I had kept copies of all the cartoons I drew throughout the years, but back then I was just drawing to share and give them away.
I have never been able to find my toilet friend again to thank her and let her know what she helped start in my life!”
The Shticks are very attractive and appealing. They always perfectly fit the atmosphere and background of the scenes in which they are placed. But I would never EVER have guessed that a toilet malfunction was a factor that enabled the creation of the Shticks! BV Lawson
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