Inspiring the Next Story-Tellers

Two men standing on a church stage

The thrill of communicating an idea is in our blood, and DKY’s Creative Director, Mark Yaeger, puts those skills to use for our clients!

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Long before careers in marketing, many of us at DKY were simply kids who loved telling stories—whether it was crafting the words, or drawing the pictures. The thrill of communicating an idea got in our blood, and now we put those skills to use for our clients!

We can all remember that first significant teacher who sparked our interest or discovered our talent. Now our Creative Director, Mark Yaeger, hopes to be that kind of inspiration to the next crop of storytellers. A gifted illustrator, Mark occasionally teams up with the original “K” of DKY, Tom Kelby (founder and president of Hands to the Plow Ministries), to publish faith-based children’s books. Check out Nathaniel’s Journey.

In February, Legacy Christian Academy in Andover, Minnesota invited Tom and Mark to come talk about their craft for “I Love to Read” month. But the author-illustrator duo took it a step further. They enlisted the 1st through 4th graders to create their own story, with a little guidance.

They left the students with one character—Billy Muggins, whose hair is made of bread—and this assignment: Each class imagine one moment that Billy’s predicament might put him in, and write a rhyming stanza about it.

On May 22, Tom and Mark came back to Legacy—to reveal all the stanzas as one story for the first time, and to start the next step: creating illustrations. Moving from class to class, they selected kids to pose as Billy in action with his classmates. Mark used his tablet to capture the “photo sketches,” which he’ll turn into cartoons. To their ‘oos’ and ‘ahs’, he drew a few on the white board, showing just how an illustrator makes his magic.


ABC Newspapers sent a reporter out to do a feature story on the project.

Look for the upcoming Billy Muggins book, which Tom and Mark hope to publish this fall with credit to Legacy Christian Academy.

Some lessons are better caught than taught. And if the enthusiasm at Legacy is any indicator, there’s no shortage of future DKY talent in the pipeline.


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