Paul Schoeni is a bishop in the Santa Clarita California Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as “the Mormon Church”). He is also a visual development artist, illustrator, and educator.
For the last 15 years, Paul has worked as an artist for DreamWorks Animation on such films as How to Train Your Dragon (2 and 3), Kung Fu Panda, MegaMind, Shrek Forever After, and The Boss Baby.
One day while he was out taking a walk, he began to contemplate the difficult situations that many families are in right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is when he came up with an idea of how he could use his skills to help in some small way.
With the help of a team of over 30 artists from DreamWorks, Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, and more, his idea was brought to life. In three short weeks, the team created a 40 plus page, downloadable coloring book comprised of different styles called The Good Things Coloring Book. Paul told LDS Living, “So much of the news cycle is alarmist and pessimistic, and I wanted to find a way to show kids that there’s still a lot of good in the world, despite the challenges that we are all facing.”
Many of the pages, like the one titled “Zoomers To Bloomers,” tell specific stories of service. Schoeni shared the story on his Instagram, “17-year-old Daniel was looking for a way to contribute during the pandemic, and he got the idea to start a grocery shopping and delivery service to help people over the age of 65 and anyone else who is immunocompromised. Others have followed his example, and now after just 3-4 weeks, the service has expanded to 25+ cities and thousands of people helped. Awesome!”
Although the coloring book was not a spiritual endeavor, Paul says that his faith influences him to want to do good by helping other people. He says, “Being grateful for the good things and good people around us is part of trying to live a Christlike life, and it was worth it to me to try and highlight them in a fun way for kids.”
Paul is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. He also teaches part-time at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. He is a graduate of the Animation Program at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He resides in sunny southern California with his wife Amber and their four children – Ashlyn, Leah, Brandon, and Carter.