Most recent news!

I have written two books! 

It is called 'Valley of the Queen"  and can be found on The first 150 pages reflect my personal experiences as a photographer in Vietnam and later as an advertising photographer in Chicago. But then it takes off on a very exciting and unusual tangent. 

It is fiction and a story of love and intrigue about four Chicago friends who search for an ancient treasure and thwart the plans of a pair of evil and ambitious brothers. 

At first I was not sure it wasn't just my folly.  But as more and more people read it and really liked it, I was encouraged.  I hope you like it too. 

The sequel is entitled "Palace Secret" and takes up where Valley of the Queen ended. Here is a part of what it says on the back cover: "For thousands of years the earth has held a secret that promised prosperity and power to whom it is revealed. Civilizations have come and gone and mankind has contrived ever more intelligent ways to prey on each other. Yet the secret remained until recently. A professor of archeological studies discovered a link to that secret and it lfoed him to Siem Kulea where Jack and Mai have settled. The bond of love between Jack and Mai is never tested but the peace of their valley is as evil adversaries seek the means to open the magnificent and mysterious door hidden below the White Palace. It becomes a surprising and thrilling contest that takes them around the world to see who finds the answer first in this all-or-nothing contest.

Many have said they like the second book even more than the first.

Changing Goals

"There are hundreds of careers in Art for a student to choose from. If you are passionate about your work you will be successful and make a very good living from it."

No one told me that in high school. I was left with left-brain choices that my parents recommended such as Accounting and Engineering. Unfortunately, those were the days when, if you did not know what you wanted to be, you were likely to get drafted and sent off to war. I was.

I spent two years and three months in Vietnam as a photographer. That changed me dramatically because it was then, for the first time, that I knew what I wanted to be. That simple selection of a life goal is life changing. I graduated from Art Center College of Design in 1974 and for 25 years I was an advertising photographer with studios in Chicago and Dallas.

I had a terrific and successful career as an Advertising photographer and when the digital imaging age came with the onset of the Adobe Photoshop program I was there at the beginning to embrace it. It was a time when all of us were learning the limitless possibilities of the digital world and with computers that had very little and very expensive RAM memory. I lost one very big job when a client told me I could not possibly do the assignment even as I showed her transparencies that proved I could. We had gone through a technology door that changed the game exponentially. It was a learning curve for everyone and we all had to adapt in our own way or be left behind. Now those ideas and those days seem primitive as will the next generation of technology looking back on the present.

Ten years ago I decided to teach. I wanted specifically to teach high school and not college. I wanted to bring the message of the possibilities of a career in an art-related field to students who are just making up their minds about career goals. There are plenty of frustrated right-brained students who do not like Math or Science and feel life has very limited possibilities for them. I have seen them in my classes thousands of times. I have had students come to my classes thinking they cannot be designers because they can’t draw. In a few weeks they find they love digital imaging and want to be designers.

On this web site I have posted a number of images that reflect my work over the years. There are many images that were lost as I moved in 2000 and I am the less for that. But the selection here is a good mark of what I liked to do most. In doing so, I have been able to reflect on my career and find that what I am doing now, teaching, is the greatest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Unless you have taught in the classroom, you will probably not understand that. I wake up every morning looking forward to going to school. It keeps me fresh (at least mentally) and I honestly enjoy watching the young men and women in my classes grow, with the knowledge and learning we give them, from children to adults.

One teacher asked me several years ago if the honeymoon (my love for teaching) was still continuing.

“Yes, Paola, it is.”   Bill Diebold