Not many people can say their art is seen by millions of people. By winning the 2011 Lily Seal of the Year award, Ahwatukee Foothills resident Samar Waterworth will be one of those few people.
But actually, this will be her second time winning the contest in as many years. Her first winning seal design, "Sacred," was sent out to 19 million households to create awareness and raise funds for Easter Seal's Disability Service, an organization that provides individualized services for people with special needs.
"It was an honor for me to win and to be able to spread awareness for (Easter Seal's)," she said.
Her painting, entitled "Serenity," was selected as one of six finalists and was ultimately chosen as the winner after an online voting contest.
Waterworth, who was born in Jerusalem, is a fine arts teacher for two different charter schools, Liberty Arts Academy and Gilbert Arts Academy, which she has done for four years.
"What I teach is what I love is what I do," she said. "I am teaching kids what I learned in high school. Kids are never too young to learn the basics and I make it fun for them."
Waterworth has done a variety of things over the years, including illustrating a children's book series, custom paintings and murals, and commercial graphic design.
She said she knew she had the artist's touch at a young age.
"When I was 6 years old, my teacher at the time made us all go up to the board and draw something," she said. "Other kids would draw the sun or a flower and I drew a guitar. I don't know why I drew a guitar, but I did. Then she just started picking out different things around the classroom and I illustrated every one. That's when I knew I had the artist bug in my head."
While Waterworth loves teaching, she said her ultimate goal is to be able to survive financially off of her artwork.
"To be able to do that full-time, that's my dream," she said. "I am truly passionate about what I do."
To find out more about the Easter Seal's Disability Service, visit their website, www.EasterSeals.com.