Mary Shields is the founder and president of Shields Design Studio. She splits her time between Plymouth, MA, and Harpswell, ME, with her husband Jim McKinnell. She has two grown stepchildren and two beautiful granddaughters.

Creative work was something Mary knew she would continue after she received an honorable award for her painting of an abstract forest fire in first grade. Mary founded Shields Design in 1991 and is located in the historic Plymouth waterfront. Nearly three decades later, Shields Design Studio continues to design visuals, from digital to print, for an impressive clientele ranging from tourism, healthcare, sports, technology, government agencies, and entertainment giants.

The ideas for Barnicle™ and Husk™ percolated in the late 1990s, inspired by Mary’s personal life experiences. A chance encounter with Wampanoag Chief Flying Eagle, Earl Mills, Sr., helped her project take wing. His wisdom and encouragement were priceless.

The characters’ home in Plymouth is richly steeped in history. The mission of Plymouth 400, Inc. and Mary’s vision for her historical characters are well aligned. To learn more about the Plymouth 400th commemoration, visit Although the characters are fictional, they’re woven into a fabric of reality. Whether you choose to follow them on an adventure for fun, or learn from them, they are sure to capture both the young and the young-at-heart.

Barnicle and Husk will prove to be a multifaceted brand with a pipeline of fun for kids. 

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