Creating Lasting Memories Through Creativity
Meredith Scott Lynn, actress, producer and creator of Write Brain Books, has a creative energy that ignites those around her. This has helped her succeed as a child in school and is how she built a successful career as an adult. Now with her new company, Write Brain Books, and the artistry of almost 30 Academy of Art University illustration students, she is using that creative drive to help school children honor their creative side, their right brain, in an ever increasing left brain world.
Write Brain Books are richly illustrated, textless books that inspire students of all ages to write, igniting self-expression and inventive storytelling while developing vitally necessary 21st century skills.
“For so many, the left brain is highly stimulated all the time,” said Lynn. “When young people develop their left brain thinking at the expense of their right brain thinking, they will have a less balanced experience of themselves in all areas. We are just trying to keep that right brain engaged.”
Lynn was driven to create Write Brain Books for several reasons. As a young student in the New York State school system, she did not test well on the state-run standardized tests.
“If I did not have a confidence that came from the support I got for my creative output, I would have had low self-esteem, because I couldn’t pass the New York State math test,” said Lynn, who has acted in many movies and TV shows including Legally Blonde, The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and currently stars in Days of Our Lives. “I don’t believe that testing should be the end all be all measure of a student’s worth.”
Lynn is bothered by what she sees as a generation of kids growing up in a highly technological society and at a time when the educational system values standardized testing above most things.
Courtesy of Write Brain Books.
Another big reason Lynn created Write Brain Books is that she wants kids to have the experience of creating memories. She often observes teenagers at a café looking at their phones for the better part of an hour with no conversation and that’s their shared experience. She sees that her friends’ kids are not journaling anymore, they’re on social media posting things in the moment and then that moment is gone.
“I had a lot of thoughts about the negative aspects of the highly digital revolution,” Lynn said. “I don’t live in a bubble, but I see that we are raising a generation of really distracted, disconnected left brain thinkers. They don’t look up often enough to see what the people around them are going through.”
Ultimately, Lynn says she doesn’t really know how it happened. She was reading her niece a book one day, and the idea came to her to create books without text, and a couple years later, she is running a highly successful book company and producing creative writing curricula for all grade levels in schools across 33 states.
Meredith Scott Lynn, actress, producer and creator of Write Brain Books. Photo by Cathryn Farnsworth.
“So basically, Meredith has a lot of opinions and thoughts and ideas on a lot of things. So rather than being preachy, I created something that addressed all of those things without doing a TED Talk about it,” Lynn said.
As luck would have it, a close friend of Lynn’s happened to be the stepdaughter of Chuck Pyle, director of the School of Illustration at Academy of Art University, and she suggested that Lynn reach out to the Academy for artists. Pyle loved her idea and introduced Lynn to the artists he thought would make a good fit as children’s book illustrators and they all accepted.
“It was amazing, because Chuck supported it and [the students] saw an opportunity,” said Lynn. “They saw the purpose of the books and the potential for the company. And it paid off. The truth is these are really talented kids.”
Within eight months of starting Write Brain Books, Lynn had a full line of illustrated children’s books and has hired almost 30 Academy students and alumni.
“I was really impressed, and it meant something to me to have all of the children’s book artists be students of art who are at the beginning of their careers,” said Lynn. “I think that is kind of a great part of the story.”
She says Write Brain Books is a company designed to promote the artist and the artwork. Because the artist is the sole inspiration for the book, it’s the artist’s job to create enough interesting and inspiring imagery in a Write Brain Book for a young writer to get a great idea for a story.
“The artists are the most important part,” Lynn explained. “They are the foundation of what Write Brain Books is built on.”
She gives her artists a lot of freedom, but they have a very detailed artist’s guide regarding the specs and when they need to deliver.
“There are always opportunities once you’ve done one,” shared Lynn. “Also when you have a start to finish full page children’s book that is sold in stores and in schools, it’s a [differentiating factor] when you go to a job interview.”
Erika Flak, a School of Illustration alumna and one of Write Brain’s first illustrators, believes that without a doubt, her children’s book project was the first stepping stone in her career.
“Write Brain Books really helped me establish a very solid thought-out series of pieces and that helped me launch into a couple internships and that launched into a full time job,” said Flak, who now works full-time at MachineZone, a mobile gaming app company that produces “Game of War.” “It was a huge project, 10 full illustrations that were perfectly organized to fit the book. I’m 100 percent positive that that’s why my career started.”
The next step for Write Brain Books, after being primarily a school program, will be to launch online and in retail stores with eight of their most popular books. Author’s Kits are available at writebrainbooks.com. A full, all inclusive kit comes with an illustrated book with no words, a 15-page author’s guide, an idea pad, one story mat and a code for publishing.
“The point is you get a hard or soft cover beautiful bound finished children’s book and you wrote it, with your picture and your bio,” explained Lynn. “For parents, Write Brain offers an opportunity to witness the evolution of their child’s creative expression, imagination and voice.”
For more information on Write Brain Books, please visit writebrainbooks.com.