Cartoon artist finally following her dream

For most of her life, Sharna Fulton has known she was born to be an artist.

The idea first came to her, she said, when she was 9 years old, admiring Hallmark’s Betsy Hall greeting cards that her mother used to buy.

“I remember thinking then that that was something I wanted to do,” Fulton recalled recently.

But more than three decades would pass before she would finally put her own ideas to paper and create Chloe Pink, a self-described cartoon spokesperson for girls aged 3 to 103.

It was 2006. The following year, Fulton, armed with her own line of Chloe Pink greeting cards, headed to New York for the National Stationery Show.

“I failed,” she said. “I didn’t sell any orders, so my big master plan didn’t work out the way I wanted.”

Fulton went home and put Chloe in a drawer.

When a couple of friends found out about the cartoon character last year, they encouraged Fulton to bring her out again.

This time, though, Fulton started a Chloe Pink blog and began posting three-panel cartoon strips on Facebook. Together, she and Chloe set out to encourage girls to be curious about everything, to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

Even Fulton, now 49, was emboldened by Chloe Pink.

“Whether you’re 7, 27, or 77, it’s never too late,” said Fulton, a former copywriter who lives in Loganville with her husband and two dogs, Jacoby and Pete, the inspiration behind Chloe Pink’s canine companion.

She took an illustration class, started teaching art and recently self-published a Chloe Pink Doodle & Dream coloring book that  will debut at the AJC Decatur Book Festival with a book signing and coloring contest.

“Doodle & Dream,” part sketchbook, part coloring book and journal, can be found at Booth 134 on Sept. 4 and 5.

Fulton knows what it’s like to give up on your dreams and said that because girls experience tons of peer pressure, it can be  especially tough to set out on their own paths.

“I’ve had a lot of setbacks," Fulton said, “but I think I’m finally understanding you have to keep plodding along and believe in yourself.”