A modern renaissance man with as many talents as he has interests, local Chad McClung splits his time between his passions. A native to Parkersburg, Chad left the Mid-Ohio Valley to pursue art at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Although he initially studied cartooning, he quickly discovered that his interests were more aligned with graphic design.
Post-college, Chad now resides back in the Mid Ohio Valley with his wife and two daughters. As a family they spend their time learning music together, playing video games, and participating at the Actor’s Guild. However, his love for graphic design still fuels both of his current positions as Art Director for Woodcraft Magazine and Little Balloon Press.
Little Balloon Press is a small children’s book publishing company that is partially located in the Mid Ohio Valley through Chad. After the manuscript is written, the illustrations are created, and it’s all finalized; it goes to Chad for completion. He takes everything from the other creatives and designs the actual book in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
“I’ve always wanted to do children’s books. Plus, I get to work with creative people – and that’s awesome,” Chad said.
As the art director, Chad sees the book through from beginning to end – from receiving the manuscript, creating a storyboard, working with illustrators and finally, layout. “My favorite part is putting everything together, and seeing the final product,” he said.
Although Little Balloon Press is small, they’re growing quickly. Last year the emerging company published three books, all in paper back form. This year, they are expanding to a hardback book for one of their newest manuscripts. With five to six books on the calendar for the New Year, the local area is sure to see more of them.
Choosing a favorite for Chad was difficult, but Adam and the Magic Markers was the first book he worked on, and he still loves it.
The books cover different subject matter, and really appeal to children of all ages. From a cat learning to use its inside voice, to a little boy who brings color to the world, the books offer lessons and learning opportunities to everyone. “We get to work with all types of creative people with different views. It’s a great publisher for up and comers and experienced authors, alike,” he said.
Currently, the books are printed on demand and available through Amazon.com. Also, they’re available through the Parkersburg and Vienna Libraries.