What better inspiration for a creative company, than a happy smiling Dalmatian?! If everyone could muster up a smile like that a handful of times everyday…imagine the things we could achieve!

Now, in order to tell the full story, but keep it at a web-appropriate length…I do have to start off with a bit of sorrow. In 2019, the journey with our beloved Dalmatian, Faith, came to an end. Her death was very hard on our whole family, but I took it especially hard. I had raised Faith from a puppy, back before my family was even a family. Before my daughter, before my husband and before our other pets. And if you ever met her, you knew she had a contagious energy and sweetness about her. When she was gone, her absence was almost unbearable.

After a few months had gone by, I suddenly had this thought about how I wished I could have shared her with the world. I regretted not bringing her more places, or taking her for more walks. I felt that anyone who had never met her was at a disadvantage. Then I thought about if I could change that – was it too late, now that she was gone? And then it hit me – kids! They’re the real ones missing out on not knowing Faith. And with all the books I was reading my young daughter, it was easy to see all the opportunities for lessons in a children’s book. So I thought, why not make a kid’s book about Faith?

So I did. I wrote the story soon after and then spent about two years creating the art – that was a beast! But it was a lot of fun and very therapeutic, especially as the COVID pandemic came into play. As I neared the finish line, I knew I had to decide on how it would get published. After lots of research, I decided to self-publish. And so I figured, why not go the extra mile and create an LLC as well.

Naturally, I decided the best direction for the company was my main inspiration – Faith. She found joy in everything! She would snuggle up on the couch in a tiny little “free spot”, where others thought there was no room. She had “zoomies”, before they were called “zoomies”. She would bound through snow taller than her, even despite the cold. She truly was a happy, joyful dog. So while the book will hopefully help kids learn that being different does not have to be a bad thing. I hope that adults reading this or learning about my brand, remember to find joy in life and strive for finding the “free spot” on the couch – even if one doesn’t really exist.

Faith the Dalmatian Smiling

About Tracy

Hi! I’m Tracy Tydeman, and I’m the owner of Spots of Joy! I am a graphic designer, snowboarder, mother, lover of animals, and now I’m also an author, illustrator, publisher and the owner of my own business. For many years, I pursued one main trade (graphic design), because I felt like one focus was the “norm” and the best path. One day, I had this thought about why it had to be that way, and I thought back to my younger days where I was often found doing multiple things. I remembered how much fun it was to switch things up every now and again, and thought about how I could do that in my current lifestyle. At the time, I was illustrating Meet Faith and thought maybe there was something there that could help. And once I realized the different paths of getting my book in the world (traditional publishing, self-publishing with a company, or true self-publishing), I decided self-publishing was the route for me. And once I started, I kind of just ran with it – starting my own LLC as the publishing company and deciding to also offer other artistic products and graphic design services!

I was born and raised in Colorado, but have lived in Texas, California, North Carolina and New Zealand. No matter where I went (even beautiful NZ), I always found myself missing the mountains of Colorado. The nature, beauty and people of Colorado are really something to hold onto. Growing up, we always had an assortment of animals – dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, lizards and birds, so it wasn’t unusual that I had a love of animals. And as you’d expect, I always thought I’d be a veterinarian. But as I grew up, I eventually found myself in the world of design – starting with Interior Design and then shifting to Graphic Design. I fell in love with it right away, but there has definitely always been something missing. And that thing was animals. It’s wonderful to finally find a balance between a love of animals and design. To be able to work on designs that involve dogs (especially my own), has been a very positive direction for me.

Today, you can find me hanging out in Yampa Valley, near Steamboat Springs, with my family. We love to snowboard, paddleboard, camp and travel. During the winter I teach snowboarding at Steamboat Resort, while still doing graphic design work. And the other months are spent doing graphic design work and finding new adventures.

Tracy Tydeman