How We Sprouted

Six years ago, Julie, Seneca and I worked at a magazine with offices located in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay. The Public Garden was one block east, Copley Square a block or two west. Often, for a breath of fresh air and a break from fluorescent lighting, we’d walk the tulip-lined paths of the Garden, maybe over to Beacon Hill and back again.

Time and again we’d pass Nancy Schön’s Make Way For Ducklings statue and find tykes of all ages hoisting themselves up for a ride or tapping Mrs. Mallard’s bronzed brood on their heads in an impromptu game of duck, duck goose. It seemed to us that kids simply couldn’t pass them by without showing them some display of affection. Thomas Ball’s statue of George Washington on horseback never saw the same kind of love.

We got to thinking about how many wonderful pieces of public art are scattered throughout Boston. And, more specifically, how many of them are sculptures of animals. We considered how children are drawn to these works, how they’d interact with the sculptures as if they were real. We were amused that the roped-off, “look-but-don’t-touch” adage that accompanies most artwork didn’t apply. We decided that these animal sculptures would make a good cast of characters in a children’s book.

And then we decided to create one. Why not? Julie had talent as an illustrator and art director, and Seneca and I wrote and edited for a living. We all knew how the printing process worked and knew how to take a story from a series of text and pictures to a finished, published form that could be held, read aloud and requested at bedtime. It was rewarding, and we were hooked.

Three Bean Press was born. Two more children’s books followed. Relationships were made at wonderful shops throughout Boston and New England, and we became part of a larger community that finds value in the written word and in art. We immersed ourselves not only in the creative process, but also in the business of book publishing. Soon, others who had something to say began to seek us out, and ever since we’ve taken on equally fulfilling work—helping other authors and artists create beautiful, bound and fully-realized versions of their expressions.

What’s your story? We can help you tell it.

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