As the story goes, all over the world, Santa Claus goes down chimneys to deliver toys to good little girls and boys. Which, of course, begs the question – what happens if you don’t have a chimney? Camden College of Arts and Sciences art major Breanna Sipple helps answer that question with the new children’s book No Chimney? No Problem!, for which she served as the illustrator. Written by Jodi Wojtowicz and published by Moon Jump Press, the book takes place on Christmas Eve and features a little girl who has many ideas on how Santa Claus will deliver his gifts to her, despite her house not having a chimney.
“No Chimney? No Problem!” is a children’s book that explores the question of how Santa Claus delivers toys to children whose homes don’t have chimneys.
Breanna met the author when she was hired to nanny her children; when Mrs. Wojtowicz learned that Breanna was an art student at Rutgers–Camden and had an impressive portfolio, she hired her to illustrate the book. Breanna had already experienced professional success as she had previously been hired for commissioned portraits and paintings, but this was her first foray into the world of illustration. Despite being nervous about the new challenge, Breanna says, “Hands-down [it was] the best experience I have had yet as an artist at only 22 years old. It was a wonderful experience and I am so blessed that I got to work alongside Jodi in making this magical book!” Using the book’s story as her guide, Breanna used a unique watercolor/mixed media art style to create the book’s images. The process between the author and illustrator was so successful that they have many more children’s books planned for the future.
Breanna’s love of art started at a very young age. Her father is a talented painter, and she grew up watching and learning from him. For Breanna, majoring in art was a clear choice. “Authenticity and passion are extremely important to me as an individual. Pursuing art because I was so passionate about it felt like the right choice to stay true to myself. I can’t imagine majoring in anything besides the arts,” she says.
Breanna started on the track to a successful art career while still a student at Gloucester Catholic High School. For two years in a row, she participated in the annual Teen Arts Festival, an event which was hosted on the Rutgers–Camden campus. This festival was her first introduction to Rutgers–Camden, and her interest was immediately peaked. “I remember imagining myself as a student here and it just felt right,” she recalls.
Before enrolling in the Camden College of Arts and Sciences, Breanna earned her associate’s degree in studio arts at Camden County College. Once she started at Rutgers–Camden, Breanna happily began the next step in her art career, taking classes like Figure Drawing and a course in film photography, both of which, she says “have really guided me in my growing art career. Figure Drawing reminded me why I love art; [and] photorealism is by far my passion when I am making art.” In fact, it was the course in film photography that slightly altered Breanna’s path and led her to the decision to declare a concentration in photography. Breanna is also interested in graphic design, and will begin as the Student Works Gallery (SWG) graphic designer in the new year, working alongside the SWG president in collaborating on posters, invitations, and other gallery duties.
Slated to graduate in May 2016, Breanna’s future is bright and her options are many. In addition to collaborating again with Mrs. Wojtowicz on more children’s books, she is also growing an online business in which she sells her paintings, drawings, and photography. Breanna would also like to work with the elderly and disabled, using art as a kind of therapy to enrich their lives and brighten their days. All of her future plans will surely satisfy her main goal, which is, as she says, “to bring happiness into the lives that my art touches.”
About Breanna Sipple
Hometown: South Jersey
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Major: Art
Expected Graduation Date: May 2016
Written By Julie Roncinske