Gary Blehm, the Penman, created his optimistic cartoon character with a broad half moon shaped grin in a one room school house near Aspen, Colorado in 1977. Since then the character has seen poster, book, syndication, and animation success spreading his brand of optimism.
Blehm learned about optimism from his father who would often repeat, “life is about experiences and I’m here to see how many I can get”. His inspiring message was expressed through Gary’s drawings of a character that lived larger than life. He was a character beaming with genuine positivity and joy. When Gary caught a frisbee under his legs for the first time, he drew it. When his family bought a house with a claw footed bathtub, he drew it. When he went backpacking and made a walking stick, he drew it. When he learned how to play the guitar, he drew it. So while his father spoke of collecting experiences, Gary chose to draw a collection of his own.
Today Blehm’s character remains that symbol of optimism who, through it all, continues to Grin Big!™