Mike Paulis with several of the books written by his wife Mary Ann that he has illustrated.

Mike Paulis is known as Mike Doodles to many, but the art and drawings he creates are so much more than that. He has taken doodling to a whole new level!

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Born and raised in Lincoln, IL (now a Springfield resident), Mike earned his Associates of Arts Degree from Lincoln College and later received his BFA in design from Northern Illinois University. That helped him obtain employment with the State of Illinois, a lucrative career as a computer design tech, until his retirement in 1985. Through the years though, Mike always imagined that one day he would like to do “something on his own.”

During his time with the state, Mike was responsible for creating detailed technical drawings, but he also was able to explore his creative side by producing posters, flyers and the like for events such as lunch meetings, holiday parties, etc. In his spare time he began designing personalized items for family members such as sports cards, greeting cards and more. When he retired, he found this creativity consuming his mind, and realized that not only was this his passion, but something he could now do “on his own.”

Since retiring Mike has designed and illustrated book covers for several local authors and is the creator and illustrator of the popular comic strip The North Side. Mike also illustrated The Great Buttinski, a children’s book designed to make children think and is a regular contributor of an activity page and coloring pages for children on the educational kids website, SmartyPantsMagazineForKids.com.

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In addition, Mike has illustrated seven children’s picture books which were all written by his wife Mary Ann, and two more written by the couple’s grandkids during COVID! I love these children’s books! They are all hard cover, with large type and bright and brilliant illustrations, with simple and/or funny stories that really engage younger kids. They are also unique — I mean, have you ever read a book before about someone with sauerkraut hair? Now you can. Mike’s talent is certainly evident on the pages of these books and our youngest grandchild loves them! Their books are available at www.etsy.com/shop/BabaAndCocoBooks.

Not only is Mike Paulis’ story right up our alley at The Buzz by being “about people of the area,” but it meets another agenda of ours, promoting locally owned, small business, as Mike now uses his talents to create memorable, personalized items for individuals — unique greeting cards, sports “trading” cards for your child or grandchild, posters for local businesses and events ... and he also does drawings and portrait paintings of just about anything - including pets! You will see evidence of that in the May issue of The Buzz in Magnum’s Corner.

Some examples of Mike’s work are shown here and you will be seeing more of it each month, as we will be featuring his fun, educational drawings in The Buzz each month. For even more examples of his work, go to the Smarty Pants website and check out 'The Great Buttinski,' 'Chuckie the Chicken,' 'The North Side ' comic and more. To talk to him about custom greeting cards, sports cards featuring your child or grandchild, or even illustrating your upcoming book, you can call or text him at 217-836-8369 or email him at mikeedoodles01@yahoo.com. Find him on Facebook @ Baba and Coco Books.

This story originally printed in the March 2024 issue of The Prairie Land Buzz Magazine, http://www.thebuzzmonthly.com.

Example of custom sports cards for your family athlete. Note, photos must be provided.

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