Pandemic reveals local teen’s hidden talents

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer
memara@fortfrances.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to get creative and occupy their free time, but one local girl did just that while also making other people’s day a little more special.

Maddy Bliss, 15, has been making cards since last fall. They could be given as thank-you cards, birthday cards and custom cards for any occasion.

“I usually play hockey, but with COVID, all the hockey was canceled,” Bliss said. “I had a lot of free time so I’d draw and finish colouring books.”

With just two Sharpie pens of different thickness, Bliss finished drawing three themes, each containing five different designs. Thus far, she has done wildlife, flowers and trees. All her drawings are so intricate and deep, that she and her aunt Kim Jo Bliss initially thought of compiling a colouring book to showcase her talents.

Adult colouring books were the inspiration for Maddy Bliss’ art cards, which feature stylized black and white renditions of animals and other wildlife. She’s thinking of assembling her artwork to produce a colouring book of her own. – Merna Emara photo

“I was going to make a colouring book,” Bliss said. “But that would take a while, so I started off with cards and when I get more drawings, I will try to make a colouring book with them.”

Bliss finished her wildlife cards for Father’s Day because they had drawings of fish, moose, bears, rabbits and owls.

Bliss has also done a mushroom custom design when her friend asked her for one. Bliss said sometimes she would finish a design in one night, but that varies depending on school and work obligations.

Currently the designs Bliss has for sale are in black and white, which gives those who get the cards the chance to colour them in and personalize them for the recipient.

“I’m also going to start adding colours to the new set,” Bliss said. “I will probably start a new set after I finish school. I give them to my friends for their birthdays and sometimes they want to buy some for their families.”

The support from the community has impressed Bliss. She has sold out of her cards as they hit local markets.

“The first time I printed them, all 20 packs were all sold in an hour,” Bliss said. “So then we printed more and they were sold, too. We decided to put them at Lowey’s Greenhouse and Emo Feeds where they continue to sell. They like them. They think they are nice.”

Bliss never formally took drawing lessons, but she had an art class at the beginning of the year where she spent some time looking at different designs of adult colouring books and entertained the idea of making one herself.

“It feels good when you finish a whole page of colouring. It takes a while,” Bliss said “I’ll continue doing this for as long as I have the time. If I see a pattern while driving or on my computer, I’d remember it and add it to places in my drawings.”

Although Bliss also works at the Kitchen Creek golf course four days a week, she will still be making time to draw her favourite designs.

You can find Bliss’s cards at Lowey’s or Emo Feeds.

Related