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About us

How we met

brightartist, someone chose you!According to some archived screenshots that Matt catalogued, I am the bold one who first “chose” brightartist (a.k.a. Matt). He received word that I was interested, checked my profile out, and messaged me.  

The night before we were scheduled to rendezvous for our first date in Lincoln Square, a snowstorm dumped a foot of white on Chicago. Gallantly, Matt offered to make a game-time decision and take the Green Line (L) out to Oak Park, saving me the hassle of parking on the not-so-plowed Chicago side streets. In the end, we met on one of my favorite blocks in Oak Park at Caribou Coffee, then on to dinner at Cucina Paradiso.

I was relieved to discover that Matt’s persona matched his writing voice. Our conversation was lively, and I headed for home that night with a wide grin.

The next morning I met up with my sisters for girl talk and coffee. Sharing this first date story, I could sense it would not be long before I introduced Matt to my family. Fortunately, he felt the same way. And we have “Cupid” to thank!

About Sarah~ the bride-to-be

Sarah Somers stands next to engagement catalpa tree

Sarah grew up in Naperville, the oldest of four siblings in a close-knit family of education-loving sports nuts and music enthusiasts! She fondly remembers summer days on Spruce Drive: choreographing dance/musical performances, “peppering” with her dad, picnic lunches with Mom and the sibs, and filling up notebooks while playing ‘school’ under shade trees. The first to leave the family fold, Sarah followed her heart, and roots, to Champaign-Urbana where she earned her degree in English Secondary Education. She just finished her twelfth year teaching as Ms. Somers. Though her name will change this fall, no doubt the spark to share her passion for literature, writing, and all things creative in the classroom will remain in tact.

Over the years, Sarah experienced living in both the ‘burbs and Chicago before finding a home in Oak Park: a city-like suburb. (Thanks to her devoted, and patient, moving crew!) When she’s not at school or grading papers at a coffee shop, one could typically find her scoping out the Chicago cultural scene with Matt, running, and spending time with family.



About Matt~ the groom-to-be:

Matt Maldre with his books from the Newberry Library, 2014

Born to two creative parents (dad a photography professor and mom a Montessori school teacher) Matt grew up on the south side of Chicago in Beverly with his older sister and twin brother playing wiffleball in the backyard, tennis in public parks, and croquet on any surface. His love of drawing comics and baseball portraits lead to art school at Illinois Wesleyan University where he picked up on the theory of art assuming the function of the potato. Following college, he started publishing his fun posts (2,500 and counting) on his blog

Matt's love of publishing and comics hit the sweet spot when he joined Tribune Media Services as a designer promoting the work of nationally syndicated comic strip artists and columnists. Through his 14 years working on the 14th floor of the Tribune Tower, Matt has instituted such fun work activities as New Toy Friday, Whiteboard Games, and the 1400 Gallery.

If you are walking the streets of downtown Chicago, you might run into some of the artwork that Matt regularly leaves on the sidewalks for people to discover. You will also find Matt and Sarah at museums, flying kites, and exploring parks.

6 Responses to About us

  1. Matt Maldre January 27, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Is there something you would like to add about Sarah or I? Please let your “About Sarah” or “About Matt” factoids in the comments here! 🙂

  2. Ellen Hampson January 28, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Love love love this….website….you have gone overboard on creativity and thoughtfulness… Also love the look of the save the date card.

    • Matt Maldre February 2, 2015 at 1:15 am #

      Thank you Ellen! It was a lot of fun putting everything together. We’ll also be putting together new blog posts for the site as time goes on. 🙂

      • Ellen Hampson February 4, 2015 at 10:19 am #

        Hi….Matt and Sarah….. Oh good….it is fun to see the new additions… I have thought of a song request…”Always” goes like.. “I’ll be loving you Alway’s”
        slow dance of course…. it’s an oldie but a beauty.

        • Matt Maldre February 5, 2015 at 2:56 am #

          Thank you Ellen! Say, do you know who the artist is that sings this song?

  3. Ellen Hampson February 9, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh sure Frank Sinatra….

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