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About Maureen Sharkey


"Your storyboards are the best in the business!" Cheryl Berman, Chief Creative Officer, Leo Burnett

"I've been in the business many years, and I have never seen work as good as yours," Gary Horton, President DMB&B advertising agency

"Beautifully painted, delightful compositions," Daniel Green, Portrait Society

"By the sound of your reaction, this must be the best Leo Burnett breakfast, ever!" Rick Fizdale, CEO Leo Burnett advertising agency 

"You are a painter!" Jack O'Grady, rep for Bernie Fuchs and Mark English

"Maureen Sharkey is the most naturally talented student I have ever had," Robert Divita, instructor Kendall College of Art and Design

"You are a true artist!" Don Wheeler, head of art department, Leo Burnett

  • Art Director at Leo Burnett for 15 years until 2001. Clients included; United Airlines, McDonald’s, Amoco, Hallmark, Kellogg’s, General Motors, Phillip Morris, Proctor and Gamble, Miller Brewing, and others.

  • Painter of Chicago Legends; Painted a series of sports action portraits of the Chicago Bears Super Bowl Champions 1987. Also painted Chicago Bulls beloved superstars, like Michael Jordan. Many of these paintings were exhibited in the Museum of Science and Industry’s “Sports” show in the 1990’s. They were also on exhibit at Ditka’s Hall of Fame.

  • Painted a portrait the dear former Mayor Jane Byrne that she hung in her dining room all these years.

  • Commissioned portrait of George Solti, conductor of Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and family; Andy McKenna and his wife that hangs in McKenna Hall, at Notre Dame; commissioned portraits for the retirement gift for executives of Amoco, McDonald’s, and Leo Burnett; William Bernbach, of Dole, Dane & Bernbach, that hangs in the boardroom; Saatchi and Saatchi that also ran on the cover of Adweek; Brooke and Dunn; Drew portrait of Sen. Ted Kennedy for his Illinois campaign; Walter Payton, and Crissy Everett commissioned by Wilson Sporting Goods; Jack Nicklaus for his golf development, Winstone, of Barrington, IL.

  • Out of love for the gracious Mayor Richard Daley Jr and his wife, painted a portrait of them that the gallery owner liked so much, he hung in the window of the Hilligoss Gallery, 520 N Michigan Ave for many months.


Other Career Highlights


  • Designed Walt Disney’s Family Island in the Caribbean.

  • Designed NBC newsroom for a storyboard, it ended up being used as the actual design for the newsroom in the new NBC Tower.

  • Designed a very fancy website of Mark Twain political quotes, hosted by The Huffington Post for 10 years.

  • Black Pencil Award, Leo Burnett’s best ad of the year award for “Intrigued,” for Oldsmobile.

  • Started out career as fashion illustrator for Marshall Field’s and Carson Pirie Scott’s newspaper ads.


In General


  • Murals, one was for Bishop Kelly grade school. Various art exhibits in Michigan and Chicago, one of which sold out before noon. The New York Society of Illustrators accepted two pieces for exhibition in their student show.


Quotes About Maureen


  • “You are further along than Norman Rockwell at this age (21),” “Maureen is the most naturally talented student I’ve ever had” ~ Robert Divita, teacher Kendall College of Art and Design; “You are a true artist” ~ Don Wheeler, former boss at Leo Burnett; “Your storyboards are the best in the business” ~ Cheryl Berman, Chief Creative Office, Leo Burnett; “I’ve been in this business a long time, but I have never seen work as good as yours” ~ Gary Horton, president, DMB&B; “You always come through” ~ Robert Roloff, president H&R Studio; “Excellently painted” ~ Daniel Greene, highly acclaimed American artist; “But the audience reaction, it looks like this is the best Leo Burnett Breakfast of all” "Your ideas and storyboards are always fresh and on the American pulse," ~ Rick Fizdale, CEO Leo Burnett to the breakfast that was my idea; “Your work is so much more dynamic than…” ~ Sandra Ringlever, teacher, Kendall College of Art and Design.




  • Art Institute of Chicago—almost a Master’s

  • Kendall College of Art and Design –BFA

  • Various classes at Cranbrook, Columbia, Northwestern, Western MI Univ, and Second City.





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