Getting the Message Out

Getting the Message Out

This Thursday, I was excited to see the copy of the local paper, the Leader-Telegram, and the article they did on the book I illustrated, “The Boy in a Tree.” They did a great job in highlighting the main message of the book: being content, trusting God like a child, and seeing the value that people with special needs can offer the world.

The Saturday before, the author and I held a book signing event at Artisan Forge Studios, and we had a great time chatting with people interested in the story, listening to their stories, and eating too many cookies.

Special needs childrens book illustration

Author Pam Boodle and Illustrator Matt Philleo sign copies of “The Boy in a Tree” at Artisan Forge Studios in Eau Claire, December 3, 2016.


Special needs children's book event at Artisan Forge Studios

“The Boy in a Tree” book signing at Artisan Forge Studios in Eau Claire, December 3, 2016.

It was also neat that I had a chance to see an old friend that I worked with at Sears from years ago and catch up with him.

Today, a woman who had read the newspaper article walked into my studio and  bought two copies of “Boy in a Tree” from me. We chatted for several minutes, sharing stories about the children in our lives who have special needs, and talking about how thankful we are that societal attitudes have changed so much in the last few decades towards differently able people.

Children's book on special needs with full color illustration

“The Boy in a Tree” at Artisan Forge Studios in Eau Claire

I can recall a few years ago, when I had take take my son out of the store because he had a meltdown and, while trying my best to keep my composure, someone looked me in the eye and said, “Good job, dad.”

Just those three words made all the difference.

I thought, “this person gets it.” It gave me just a bit more of a spark, and I think helped ease the tension a bit. What an encouragement that person was.

So now when I’m in a store or other public place, and I see a child misbehaving, and I’m tempted to give a disapproving glance, or maybe even say something, I remember I don’t really know the child or the story behind that child. And, although I hate to say I was that judgmental person (I never said anything, but I sure thought it, and maybe I did give that ice cold glance unknowingly) since I’ve been there myself…

…it’s a different story now.

Share Your Thoughts!

If you have any comments or questions about what I wrote, please leave me your feedback below! I will personally get back to you. Can you help me spread the word? Please share this post with your family and friends by using the social media links on the side or below. Thank you!

"I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands."

Inscribed6a 500px

"Inscribed," Pencil on Paper, by Matt Philleo

One day, when I was discouraged I read a verse in the Bible, in Isaiah, 49:15-16, where it says, "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands." This verse brought such encouragement, that I created this original work of art to share the incredible love of God with others, including you!

Get a free 8 x 10 copy of this drawing that you can use to print, share, or as wallpaper!

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  1. I saw the article in the paper, it was great that you and the author got together on this project, and that it is a success.
    Matt, from the work of yours that I have seen, I think that you are the best artist in this region. Glad that you trusted in God to provide and gave up your other job to do this full time
    Diane and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary next June and I would like to work with you on a project with you, just haven’t decided what we want yet.

    • Matt Philleo

      Thanks, Jerry! I thought the L-T did a great job on the article, from the photo to how it was written. I share the story of how the Lord used you bring in provision for us all the time when I chat with people at the studio. They are amazed by that and it touches them. I would love to be a part of commemorating your big anniversary. Let me know when we get closer to that time. Be blessed!

  2. Your information is helpful as I begin the faces on a mural with trepidation. To repay you I would like to send you my book about the Christmas star. You mentioned you didn’t know when it appeared. I used NASA software to find it. Let me know your address.
    Unraveling the Christmas Star Mystery

    • Matt Philleo

      Glad this article helped you, Irene as you work on the mural. Your book sounds interesting. I’ll contact you privately with my information. Thanks!


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