A Fast Start in the World of Art

By: Jeff Frank
North County Times

Elyse Bobczynski, 8, holds some of her published work.

Photo:Waldo Nilo / Staff Photographer-

ESCONDIDO, CA ---- The best artistic efforts of many youngsters often find positions of honor on their parents' refrigerator doors. At age 8, Elyse Bobczynski's art has already gotten much greater exposure.

Some of Elyse's works have appeared on the front of greeting cards, specialty bags and, most recently as a part of a designer check series. She's one of about 30 young artists who have been featured in the "Kids-Did-It! Designs" collection since 1996.

Elyse began painting at age 3 in art classes in San Diego taught by her aunt, Michelle Abrams. After seeing some of the work produced by the children, who range in age from 3 to 14, Abrams' husband, Glenn, came up with the idea for the "Kids-Did-It!" project.

Since then, Elyse has had drawings or paintings appear on cards produced by American Greetings and Gibson Greetings and fund-raising cards used by The Covenant House. One was also used on a bag produced by PAK2000.

Her painting of a frog is among four designs chosen out of 200 possibilities by Checks Unlimited for a series of checks and address labels that went on sale last month. They can be ordered through ChecksUnlimited.com.

It's not too surprising that the third-grader at Calvary Christian School would show some artistic talent. It seems to run in the family, according to her mother, Karen, who points out that Elyse's father, Tom, his mother, grandmother and all of his sisters are artists.

"It was an important part of growing up for my husband," Karen said.

Elyse loves the classes in her aunt's home, which is decorated throughout with art produced by students in her classes. Plus there's a little side benefit.

"She makes a few dollars," said her mom. "She's 8, and she has her own little bank account. It's a wonderful boost for her confidence as well."

All the young artists in the "Kids-Did-It!" program receive royalties for reproductions of their artwork, explained Glenn Abrams. More than 200 illustrations have been included since the project began.

Despite the early success, it's far from certain that Elyse will pursue an artistic career.

"She's pretty happy being a kid," said Karen. "She's athletic, and into lots of things."

Contact Jeff Frank at (760) 740-5419 or jfrank@nctimes.com.


For additional information, please contact

Glenn Abrams:   g a b r a m s @ k i d s d i d i t . c o m   |   +1 (619) 523-5277

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