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Cole discovered her artistic talent at a very young age

VALLEY— Janna Cole has been pursuing her love for art ever since she was a little girl, a love she inherited from her mother.

“I didn’t decide I wanted to be an artist, I inherited my artistic ability,” the 43-year-old Valley native and member of West Point Fine Arts Group explained.

At just 6-years-old, Cole began drawing the images in her Strawberry Shortcake coloring book rather than just coloring them. From there, her mother recognized her talent and signed her up for art classes.

Attending Valley High School in the early 90s, the Chambers County School System didn’t offer any art programs, so the young Cole began taking art classes at Auburn University. Each quarter throughout her high school career, she would sign up for different art classes to learn a number of techniques.

Over the years, Cole has put a lot of her emotions into her artwork, making every piece significant to her. 

“When I don’t have an emotional connection with the subject, the process doesn’t flow as well,” she said, noting that she doesn’t have a specific process to creating her work. “I don’t really have a process while creating, I just create.”

Cole has been in several art shows throughout her life, placing in many of them. She describes winning an award for art as exciting but not as rewarding as when someone connects with her work.

“I find it far more rewarding when a piece of my art speaks to someone else to the point they want to purchase the piece,” she added.

Aiding Cole is her family, including husband David, the couple’s children, Hunter, J.D. and Levi, Hunter’s wife, Haley, and grandchildren, Braylon, Elijah and Emmelynn, who are always supportive and encourage her to grow.

About a year ago, she began LolliPop Paint Parties, which she hosts for several churches and fundraisers and once a month Docks on Lake Harding has a large paint party that is open to the public.

She and her family work together to make these parties possible. He cuts each design by hand out of wood and her two youngest sons often attend to give a helping hand.

Cole also enjoys reading, listening to music, scrapbooking and spending time with family in addition to art. Although art is one of her main focuses, she enjoys her full-time job at Huguley Elementary School as well, where she works as the secretary.