Meet Woman You Should Know Maeve Jopson. She’s an industrial designer, entrepreneur, and budding author who recruited five of her artist and designer friends to help illustrate her first children’s book, My Cat is a Jerk, a humorous look at the responsibilities (and rewards) of owning a pet.

The inspiration for the book is Maeve’s own cat Frank, who she says, “Can be a real jerk.” He’s feisty and causes trouble (i.e. knocking a full glass of water off the table too many times to count), but, deep down, is a sweetheart. So she wanted to translate her trials and tribulations with her own loveable kitty into a fun book for little kids that also offers a valuable lesson in pet ownership. While it’s intended for 3 – 5 year olds, it’s the type of amusing story that anyone can enjoy… even us big “kids”!

Kitty Frank

Here’s the REALLY cool part about this book… once Maeve got Frank’s story written, she invited five of her fellow Rhode Island School of Design alums to collaboratively illustrate it with her. They did it in what she calls an “art tennis” style, meaning each artist/designer was given a stanza of the book and 10 minutes to illustrate with all sorts of kid-centric materials (crayons, water color, torn paper, etc). Then everyone passed their illustration to the next person. What an epic rally (tennis term) of creative talent!

Maeve tells us that the artistic, hands-on project, “was super fun” and “an awesome experience”. In true grassroots style, she “paid” her generous collaborators for their time and energy in hot chocolate and brownies. Um… where can we sign up for that pay scale?

My Cat Is Jerk_collaborators

The book is now complete and ready to go, but Maeve’s mission is to self-publish My Cat is a Jerk as a way to further her interest in independence and entrepreneurship. So she’s using an Indiegogo campaign to raise $2,000… just enough to purchase an ISBN for self-publishing, get 100 books printed, and give the artists something more than food as payment. She’s currently about $870 away from goal, and 5% of all money raised will go to Maeve’s local animal shelter, Providence Animal Rescue League.

Have a kid? Have a cat? Love art? Get the book! It can be pre-ordered through the Indiegogo campaign in hardcover or softcover. Maeve expects to ship orders in a couple of months.

In the meantime, be sure to follow Frank on Instagram and Tumblr… he’s a popular little kitty.

Meet Maeve’s Dream Team

My Cat Is Jerk art-tennisEllen Alsop (RISD BFA Illustration 2013)

Hope Anderson (RISD BFA Printmaking 2013)

Esther Hong (RISD BFA Illustration 2013)

Thor Oren (RISD BFA Sculpture 2014)

Cynthia Poon (RISD BFA Industrial Design 2013)