On Saturday, October 10, the NCS presented me with the Tom Gill Award at their annual meeting in Greenville, SC. As my husband and I had recently relocated to Denver, I was unable to make the trip back to receive the award. Following is my acceptance speech as read by Tim Oliphant.
Thank you to the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society, Tim, Doodle, Shep and fellow cartoonists for the Tom Gill Award for education.
Being recognized by the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists is an incredibly humbling honor. Not to mention, that the award is named after the exceptional talent of Lone Ranger fame and for everything Tom Gill gave back to his art students for 54 years. It's also special to receive it from my friend and art mentor, Tim O – whose talent and dedication to our craft are unwavering. AND before an audience of such richly gifted cartoonists like you who, to me, have it all – imagination, a way with words, artistic ability, a sense of humor and hearts of gold.
As for me, my cartooning career began in the summer of 2006 when I was sitting on a towel at Myrtle Beach and began to draw Chloe Pink. Little did I know then what a journey she'd take me on and all the friends we'd meet along the way over the next near decade. But because of the seven year old girl character in a pink baseball cap and her BFF, Pete, the terrier, I've been able to express my hopes FOR girls TO girls. To help them develop self-confidence through self-expression has been my goal, my passion. And because of the support of educators, parents and youth programming professionals, Chloe Pink’s mission of girl empowerment, has been possible. As a leadership role model for young girls, Chloe Pink has given me the incredible opportunity to work with and encourage hundreds and hundreds of talented, creative, self-confident, strong and smart young ladies at book festivals, libraries, K-5 classes, art workshops, Girl Scout meetings, after school programs! Not to mention, being invited inside personal Mobil devices, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages...to cheer on women who believe in and share with their daughters and nieces, friends and granddaughters Chloe Pink’s key message: Follow your dreams.
So in closing, thank you to the Southeast Chapter of the NCS. Because of your acknowledgement, I'm further inspired to keep on following MY dream – that of encouraging, educating and empowering tomorrow's young female leaders. And Chloe Pink and I sincerely hope you keep on following yours too!
Sharna Fulton, Creator, Brand Property and Girl Empowerment Programming.