Featured Illustrator

January 2017

 













 MEET BRIANNE

This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.






1. Your present state of mind?

Kind of sleepy, actually.

2. What do you do best?

Draw expressive characters with odd noses.

3. Where would you like to live?

Near friends in a tiny house on the beach.

4. Your favorite color?

Lavender. And also gray.

5. Three of your own illustrations:




















































6. Your music?

I’m currently listening to the Charlie Brown Christmas album. It doesn’t even need to be Christmas to enjoy this thing, turns out.

7. Your biggest achievement?

My first picture book, because it opened a door to a lovely career and meeting my closest amazing soulmate friends.

8. Your biggest mistake?

Equating busyness with progress.

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?

Sneeches, by Dr. Seuss.

10. Your main character trait?

Playfulness. But in, like, a badass way.

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?

A great, loud sense of humor and a knack for comfortable silences.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?

The ones for which you’re asked forgiveness.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?

Matilda. What a badass.
14. What moves you forward?

A willingness to fail big.

15. What holds you back?

Facebook.

16. Your dream of happiness?

Being present. Another version involves swimming in Lake Michigan with someone I love and also there’s pie.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?

Quentin Blake? That is a tough question. This could be a 400-person list.

18. What super power would you like to have?

Teleportation

19. Your motto?

We Are No Longer Impostors And We’re Good At What We Do

20. Your social media?

twitter: @briannefarley
instagram: @briannehfarley


October 2016

 









MEET BRADLEY COOPER

This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.
 







1. Your present state of mind?
Currently, my mind is in Michigan, but it tends to wander.

2. What do you do best?
Most recently, it seems to be "bottle flipping" and procrastination, but generally, I'm good with my hands.

3. Where would you like to live?
I was always going to move to the mountains in Montana when I was younger. Then I did the opposite and moved to the city of Chicago.
I loved Chicago while I lived there, but Michigan is home. I'm right where I want to be here in Brighton. Sometimes it takes getting away from Michigan to recognize how great it really is.

4. Your favorite color?
My favorite color is October, but more specifically it is orange.


5. Three of your own illustrations:




6. Your music?
I love music and picking the right playlist for the mood I'm in probably takes up more time than I should allow. When I'm illustrating, it can be anything from old Kinks albums to Bon Iver, Luna, Underworld, Lorde, Marvin Gaye, Van Morrison or any GOOD music (I also have my share of closet music.) When I'm thinking or brainstorming, I tend to listen to more ambient, classical, or instrumental music. I avoid lyrics during those times because I have a tendency to hone in on the words. (@Lori Taylor I also listen to a lot of R. Carlos Nakai Native-American flute.)
 
7. Your biggest achievement?
Yikes! I want my biggest achievement to be more substantial than what I can think of right now.

8. Your biggest mistake?
Pulling reference before I brainstorm. (I get too influenced by what has already been done.)

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?
I'm going to start with my most memorable book as a child which is Raggedy Ann and Andy by Johnny Gruelle. I did not like that book. I didn't care for the story or the characters, but I LOVED that my father read it to us every night for many days. I wasn't a fan of books as a kid, but I admired illustration. "Where the Wild Things Are," and Ezra Jack Keats "Goggles" were my favorites.

10. Your main character trait?
I'm a good listener (except when there is an opening for a little humor.)

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?
Someone that not only accepts who you are but understands who you are. And of course, someone who genuinely enjoys my humor (or at least is confused by it.)

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?
Past mistakes. We are not the same person we were yesterday.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?
Ferdinand the bull: for not even hesitating about being who he is.

14. What moves you forward?
Creating something that surprises me. (Also, a deadline is critical if I want to get it done.)

15. What holds you back?
Systems, process, productivity and analysis paralysis!
 
16. Your dream of happiness?
In my twenties, I used to have this picture from a magazine. It was a beautiful brunette with a french braid, flannel shirt, and jeans hiking in the mountains with a gorgeous Alaskan Malamute dog. I always said that was my dream. I married a beautiful brunette who wore flannels while backpacking in the mountains with me, but we got a beautiful mutt from the Detroit Humane Society instead of a Malamute, and she was the best dog ever! I also have two incredible boys, so I suppose my new dream of happiness is to regularly feed my imagination by creating what I imagine without fear or excuses.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?
Painter: The Group of Seven's Frank Carmichael, A.J. Casson, Lawren Harris, and Tom Thomson.
Illustrator: Shaun Tan's inventiveness, Chris Van Allsburg's mystery and values, Lisbeth Zwerger motion and energy, Eric Rohmann's composition, Peter McCarty's dreaminess and Howard Pyle's lighting, color, composition, everything!
 
18. What super power would you like to have?
The ability to stop time. The closest I get to that now is by getting up really early in the morning while everyone else is still asleep.

19. Your motto?
If life was easy where would all the adventures be?

20. Your social media?
Website: www.bradleydcooper.com
Instagram: bradleydcooper
Twitter: @Brad_D_Cooper




July 2016













MEET KARA MARSEE


This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.



1. Your present state of mind?
Woo-hoo! It’s summer! Pondering balance of play/work.

2. What do you do best?
Make lists - it helps release the chatter in my head of all the tasks at hand.
In illustration: depicting interaction between characters.

3. Where would you like to live?
Ann Arbor is a great place to live with all it’s amenities, events and culture. That said, I could use a few more trees and less people at times. As long as I’m near trees and access to a great library, I’m happy!

4. Your favorite color?
I love so many colors, but at the moment blue-green is tops, followed by burnt siena.

5. Three of your own illustrations:





6. Your music?
For illustration, something dancey-alternative or Latin (awesome on a winter day).
I also enjoy playing clarinet, and listening to classical for more pensive moments or writing.

7. Your biggest achievement?
Having a piece of artwork accepted into the Toledo Area Artists Exhibition, which hung at the Toledo Museum of Art.

8. Your biggest mistake?
Er, recently forgetting all the sleeping bags for our family camping trip. Oops.

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

10. Your main character trait?
Systematic in some ways, and spontaneous in others...does that make me a split personality?

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?
A good listener, and honesty.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?
Ones that don’t involve cruelty.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?
Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III – faced with incredible perils, bullies, and a challenging sidekick, he prevails and saves the day under inconceivable circumstances!
(By the way, if you only know him from the How to Train Your Dragon movie, you might be surprised at the major differences from the book.)

14. What moves you forward?
Seeing the work of other creatives, and a deadline on the calendar.
Thanks to my friends in our "Artist's Way" gatherings, and anyone who has offered a constructive critique.

15. What holds you back?
Over-thinking things and fear. I like Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice in Big Magic on inviting fear along for the ride, but never let it drive.

16. Your dream of happiness?
All the hatred in the world being replaced with positive energy.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?
There are so many!!!!
Eric Rohmann for his compositions,  Mercer Mayer for his characters, Stephen Gammell for his wild lines, and Denise Fleming for her brilliant colors. Jon Klassen for the subdued colors and use of space.
And recently I’m digging Patrice Barton for her squishable toddlers and textures, and Peter Brown for his patterns, and more, more, more!

18. What super power would you like to have?
Flying, or maybe even better...teleporting.

19. Your motto?
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t, you’re right.” - Henry Ford

20. Your social media?
My website has recently been updated. I’m taking the plunge with twitter, after an informative talk on social media for writers. It was held at the Ann Arbor District Library by Alex Kourvo (www.alexkourvo.com) and Bethany Neal (www.bethanyneal.com), as part of the Emerging Writer’s Workshop series. Thanks ladies!

@karamarsee
www.karamarsee.com





April 2016






MEET LORI TAYLOR



This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.



1. Your present state of mind?
   
Alert, busy yet pleased. Too much coffee?

2. What do you do best? 

Laugh. Be a clown, sometimes unintentionally.



3. Where would you like to live?

 

In the north woods, in Baba Yaga’s house—the one on chicken legs with skulls in the yard. Hey wait, that’s a lot like where I live now. Our hen coop is on stilts and we are surrounded by pines, owls, and skulls.


4. Your favorite color?
 
Chartreuse and sometimes Indigo. Favorite colors vary year to year. Still in Indigo mode. Or no, chartreuse. Don’t ask me to paint your house.

5. Three of your own illustrations





































































6. Your music?
 
Ecclectic mix of Carlos Nakai flute music, Tori Amos, Lady Gaga, 90s alternative rock.

7. Your biggest achievement?
 
Being selected artist-in-residence for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Three weeks exploring and doing art in the national park being treated like a queen. OK, thinking I was a queen.

8. Your biggest mistake?
 
Not backing up my files. I accidentally had a desktop folder get deleted that contained 20+ years of art and photo files, research, and the book dummy. Back up, people. Do it NOW!

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?
 
The Whispering Rabbit and Other Stories, by Margaret Wise Brown. I still have it.

10. Your main character trait?
 
I’m a playful, but fierce. I like to think I am mighty and can do anything.

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?
 
Honesty! Being real and funny. Real funny.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?
 
Most things. Just don’t mess with my kids and grandkids.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?
 
Pippi Longstocking. And Paddington.

14. What moves you forward?
 
The excitement of creating a story or illustration.

15. What holds you back?
 
People grabbing my arms and saying, “Wait! Hold on there, Missy.” Which is good when I’m near cliff edges. But maybe fear of not getting something just right.

16. Your dream of happiness?
 
Drawing and writing, living in the woods, play with grandkids, have lots of books, travel around in a camper, and have someone call and say, “Hey, we need you to create this (fill in the blank).” I guess I have all that now.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?
 
Emily Carr, for her powerful, colorful, stylized, emotional nature pieces. She lived in the north woods, traveled in a camper, painting and writing with her animals—Hey, I think I have become Emily Carr, except I don’t have a monkey—but we do have two rescued beagles who act like monkeys.

18. What super power would you like to have?
 
The ability to run fast and jump high. I can do neither.

19. Your motto?
 
Dance with Life. I CAN dance.

20. Your social media?
 
 



January 2016














MEET DANA ATNIP

 This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.






1. Your present state of mind?

Excitement! I love the promise of a new year!

2. What do you do best?

Cartooning and drawing fuzzy animals.



3. Where would you like to live?

 
I love Michigan, but living on a tropical island would be pretty awesome.



4. Your favorite color?

 
Purples, but I’ll take the whole rainbow.


5. Three of your own illustrations:





































6. Your music?
 
Alternative and pop-punk, but classical when I’m frazzled.

7. Your biggest achievement?
 
Right now it’s my webcomic, Galactic Dragons. I’ve dreamed of putting my comic strip out there for years; I had to face a lot of fears and it was a lot of work, but I’m very happy with how it’s been going, and I love the work!

8. Your biggest mistake?
 
Letting my fears dictate me for so long and letting them hold me back.

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?
 
The Richard Scarry books, but honestly anything with animals, dragons, or unicorns.

10. Your main character trait?
 
A dreamer. My imagination is always moving, always thinking of new ideas.

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?
 
For me a friend is someone with whom you can share your joys and sorrows, laughter and tears... someone with whom to have adventures with or spend the day doing nothing and just enjoy each other's company.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?
 
All of them. We all make mistakes, we all deserve forgiveness.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?
 
I adore Fancy Nancy. She’s never afraid to be herself (in the fanciest way).

14. What moves you forward?
 
I’m always inspired by artists and other creatives. Life is short and there’s so much creating to do!

15. What holds you back?
 
Ugh, still the fear and self-doubt thing, but I’m working on that.

16. Your dream of happiness?
 
Happiness itself is in the present moment. If you can be happy no matter where you are in life, then you’ve achieved.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?
 
My biggest hero is Carl Barks. He did the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic books for almost 25 years, and was known as “The Good Duck Artist” because his work far surpassed other comic book artists that did the Disney ducks. His work even inspired Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. After he retired from comic books he moved to oil painting, and his Disney oil prints still sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars.

18. What super power would you like to have? 
 
Being able to shape-shift into animals would be pretty sweet.

19. Your motto?
 
Just keep swimming!

20. Your social media?
 
My illustration website is:
www.danaatnip.com
My comic strip is:
www.galacticdragons.com (for ages 13 and older)
Facebook:
www.facebook.com/galacticdragons
Twitter handle: @GalacticDragons

 

October 2015












MEET DEB PILUTTI



This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.






1. Your present state of mind?

Pensive

2. What do you do best?

Procrastinate

3. Where would you like to live?

I didn’t grow up in Michigan, but I love it here. I’m also a big fan of Colorado.

4. Your favorite color?

Blue-greens

5. Three of your own illustrations:





6. Your music?

When I’m painting, I like to listen to music with a lot of energy. It can be bluegrass, motown or pop, as long as it makes me feel like moving.

7. Your biggest achievement?

Writing and illustrating a book was a dream of mine for quite awhile, so it felt pretty darn good when it happened.

8. Your biggest mistake?

As George Saunders puts it, “failures of kindness.”

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

10. Your main character trait?

I’m a good listener.

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?

Humor.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?

Unmalicious ones.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?

Piglet.

14. What moves you forward?

Excitement. A deadline.

15. What holds you back?

Fear.

16. Your dream of happiness? 
 
Simple things, like going on a hike or watching a sunset with people I
love being around. Without anxiety.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?

Maira Kalman

18. What super power would you like to have?

Telekinesis

19. Your motto?

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” - Pablo Picasso


20. Your social media?

web site: http://www.debpilutti.com
twitter: @dpilutti
instagram: dpilutti




July 2015







 








MEET JENNIFER SCOTT



This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.






1. Your present state of mind? 

Anticipation. I have been working for a long time on various projects. I feel that something is about to happen and I hope that it will be soon! 
 
2. What do you do best?

Currently (and two years ago I never thought I would say this) ... people! I love drawing people. I also enjoy drawing sea monsters. 
 
3. Where would you like to live?

I would like to continue visiting many exciting and adventurous places, but I enjoy living in Michigan. 
 
4. Your favorite color?

All tones, hues, and tints of blue.

5. Three of your own illustrations: 





 
6. Your music?

When I work, I listen to classical guitar or rainymood.com. If I am not working, I love top 40 and 90s music! 
 
7. Your biggest achievement?

Years ago I decided to quit my full time day job, get a bunch of different odd jobs and go back to get my degree in fine art and graphic design. I am not sure how much I slept. I am pretty sure I got more than one injury from various cutting tools and sharp implements. I am positive that was the best choice I could have ever made. I hope to go back again someday. 
 
8. Your biggest mistake?

Chickening out at portfolio day for art schools at age 17. My portfolio wasn’t fancy, or large compared with everyone else’s. I listened to one pretty positive critique from a Cincinnati Art Academy professor, felt way out of my element, and went directly home.
 
9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?

Picture Book: Miss Suzy by Miriam Young, Chapter Book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.
 
10. Your main character trait?

Creative (followed closely by humorous). 
 
11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?

Loyalty, humor, understanding, and a willingness to forgive.
 
12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?

Forgiveness is essential in life.
 
13. Your favorite children's book hero?

I’ve always loved the heros of Roald Dahl’s books, in particular, Matilda. I grew up with more than a few Mrs. Trunchbulls while in grade school and finally experienced my own Ms. Honey in fifth grade. She was such an important teacher to me and even came to my wedding! I also identified with Matilda’s strong will, hopeful attitude, and kind heart.
 
14. What moves you forward?

Ideas
 
15. What holds you back?

Real life
 
16. Your dream of happiness?

Buying and remodeling the run down house at the end of my street into an artists’ studio and gallery. Also reading in a hammock all day.
 
17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?

Painter: Mary Cassat Illustrator: Jago
 
18. What super power would you like to have?

To stop and start time just like girl in the late 80s TV series, Out of This World. When I was younger I would have used my power for good. Now, however, I may just use that power to take naps.
 
19. Your motto?
Dream big and dream often, but don’t stop there. Make a plan and go for it! 

20. Your social media?
Instagram: jennyescott Twitter: @jennyem1 website: jennyescott.com




April 2015








MEET DIANA MAGNUSON



This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.



1. Your present state of mind?

Excitement. I’m in a life-changing transition with my art, my thinking and my focus.

2. What do you do best?

Currently: Allegorical-nature-activist illustrations and writing intermingled with magical realism.

3. Where would you like to live?

Right here in Marquette near Lake Superior surrounded by woods, rivers, cliffs, and gardens —or outside Seattle with its ‘Irish’ climate of misty forests and cool, soft rains.


4. Your favorite color?

Whatever the current art wants. Personally? —Blue-green or a sunset’s salmon orange-pink.


5. Three of your own illustrations:

Eden II




May's Garden



Seahag Ocean Tunnel





6. Your music?

Opera in my studio —and Leonard Cohen

7. Your biggest achievement?

I thought it would be my art milestones (97 workbooks, education and trade picture books), but it’s my family. We are blessed with an incredible, learning and sharing relationship with our two adult children and their spouses —and two infant granddaughters who out-energize us.
Learning to consistently think critically and to love a good challenge. My creative forces increased. Before, I often spent 85% of my time drawing and 15% designing/thinking. Now, it’s 40% drawing and 60% designing/thinking. I write three sequential columns —project parameters in the first and then any images/ideas that pop into my head for the next two columns; sketch multiple thumbnails and prepare value roughs. For the final art, each step is done with as much full awareness and openness to what the story and art want as I can muster.

8. Your biggest mistake?

I could always draw well, but I didn’t always implement critical thinking. Likely the TV that kept me company in my studio to dull the mind gremlins got in the way.

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?

Anderson and Grimm fairy tales. I also read every book on animals in the elementary school libraries.

10. Your main character trait?

Wide-ranging curiosity.
I’m fascinated by human behavior. Facial expression and body language are important in my art. It seems that in our hyper-speed world the instinctual ability to read those expressions is being lost.


11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?

Loyalty, curiosity, empathy, openness, problem-solving abilities and depth.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?

Those efforts resulting from #11

13. Your favorite children's book hero?

Actually my favorites are in animation: Po in Kung Fu Panda and Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon. Both struggle yet continue to hold onto their dreams.

14. What moves you forward?

Humor, nature, and learning. The ‘dark side’ attracts me. My concern about the environment has skyrocketed, most likely connected to the arrival of my two granddaughters.

15. What holds you back?

Finally, nothing. At 60, I found confidence and at long last, an ego. I am much relieved to no longer sabotage myself. I can work through and past doubt, when it shows it’s gleeful face.

16. Your dream of happiness?

Writing and illustrating my own books: I submitted one in February and the 2nd is within a month of readiness. The third is fomenting.
Finishing a series of paintings inspired by my concerns over environmental degradation.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?

Gennady Spirin: his Russian traditional art training, his research, and his focus.

18. What super power would you like to have?

A magic wand to vaporize weapons around the world and replace damaged environments with healthy habitats —for all species.

19. Your motto?

Eyes Wide Open

20. Your social media?

I cancelled with my agent in December to develop own marketing including my website and Facebook. Because my work is very detailed, it’s also time-consuming and since I like in-depth illustrations about life, various social media sites seem too limited. We’ll see. I do appreciate Arthur Levine saying it’s okay that one of his writers doesn’t do social media.


Thanks to all the good folks at SCBWI and a huge thank-you to my critique group. I hope to see you all at the October conference!

www.dianamagnuson.com


January 2015
 






MEET JEFF JANTZ


This questionnaire goes back to a popular parlor game in the early 1900s. Marcel Proust filled it out twice. Some of our questions were altered from the original to gain more insight into the hearts and minds of our illustrators. We hope you enjoy this way of getting to know everybody.






1. Your present state of mind?

Clear and present but slightly under the influence of a wild imagination.

2. What do you do best?

Make stuff out of other stuff that looks like stuff! See illustrations…

3. Where would you like to live?

In my workshop; only a bigger and more organized version of it with a place for my kids to play and make art work too.

4. Your favorite color?

Blue and I think that is because I am slightly colorblind and I see that color the best.

5. Three of your own illustrations:

Kurt Cadet, Leaving Home

Horse Back Daydream

Jeff Jantz
The Flying Machine


6. Your music?

I love Motown music. I also like a lot of other genres but it’s gotta have soul.

7. Your biggest achievement?

My family. Without my wife and kids all other achievements are meaningless. My kids are my inspiration and my wife is my greatest friend and collaborator.

8. Your biggest mistake?

Putting limitations on myself. I was labeled with “learning disabilities” as a child and had difficulty reading. I loved stories especially ones with pictures but I hated how hard it was to get the words out of the books. Learning to read was difficult for me but the real challenge was breaking through my own personal belief that I was not smart. I now believe that my “learning differences” are my greatest assets.

9. Your favorite children's book when you were a child?

I really enjoyed (and still do) the Little Critter series by Mercer Mayor. The simple first person narrative was easier for me to read and so much of the story was told through pictures.

10. Your main character trait?

Driven. I always feel like I have to be getting something done. It’s hard for me to sit still.

11. What do you appreciate most in a friend?

Honesty and sincerity. It also helps if they are creative but not a requirement.

12. What mistakes are you most willing to forgive?

Everybody makes mistakes, why hold a grudge. I certainly have made my share.

13. Your favorite children's book hero?

Mickey from In The Night Kitchen. Thanks to Mickey we have cake every morning.

14. What moves you forward?

My imagination (AKA Dr. Jantzer). Sometimes I think my imagination is a monster and I am merely its humble servant but it is a good master and feeds me treats made of accomplishment and inspiration.

15. What holds you back?

Sleeping! If I could just stop sleeping every day I could catch up on all the projects my imagination keeps coming up with.

16. Your dream of happiness?

To follow the will of my imagination while getting paid to tell stories and build illustrations that will help make the world a little brighter.

17. The painter/illustrator you admire most?

Matt Falkner. I have had several opportunities to meet Matt through the SCBWI. I admire his work ethic and the skillful mastery of his craft. A few years ago Matt encouraged me to explore the idea of using sculptures to create my illustrations and although it took me a while to wrap my head around it, I finally feel I am on the right path.

18. What super power would you like to have?

I would like have “Compassion Ray Vision”. The ability to be able to influence people to be more compassionate to each other by zapping them with a beam from my eyes. This would be the ultimate superpower. I could stop bad guys dead in their tracks and inspire them to be positive agents of change.

19. Your motto?

The best plans are the ones that can be changed in a moment’s notice.”
From the wisdom of MacGyver.


20. Your social media?





September 2014

Thank you Heidi Woodward Sheffield for creating our blog's first banner!  Heidi's art will remain at the top of our blog until December 2014, and then a new illustrator will be chosen.  Heidi began with this image:


And then it transformed into this final version. We appreciate all of your time and creative effort, Heidi!

 

Heidi's greatest passion in life is writing and illustrating stories for children. She is a PAL member of SCBWI, where she has been recognized for her illustrations. Honors include the Don Freeman Grant for Illustrators (Runner-up), Top Ten at SCBWI NY, and three illustration mentorships, the most recent of which is with award-winning illustrator and Caldecott recipient David Diaz. 

Heidi enjoys cracking jokes with her husband Ray, having tea parties with her daughter Lauren, and collecting fortune cookie sayings, hoping that her lucky number comes up sometime soon—though she realizes in so many ways, it already has.

Read our interviews (part 1, part 2) with Heidi for more about her career and wonderful mentorship opportunities.

And don't forget to check out her website: www.heidibooks.com/











Here's an image that Heidi created for t-shirts and book bags for the SCBWI Nevada Mentorship program. Her kick-ass cowgirl collage is a reflection on resilience. The writing says, "lasso the devil, write the buckin' novel, refuse to be broken, sweet rebel..."  

17 comments:

  1. Will there be any market ideas such as new publications or publishing companies included in The Mitten?

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    1. Great idea, thanks for the suggestion! We'll explore this as we grow and add more features.

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    2. Keep in mind the most up-to-date market research can be found in the members section of the national site, www.scbwi.org
      You can download it for free or have The Book sent to you for just $5 postage. It's an amazing resource.

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  2. Brilliant, Heidi. Huge congratulations and also hugs.
    I'm a mentee now, too -- let's storm the castle and hang up our artwork. ;) -- And let's pull the rest of our Michigan illustrators up the steps too.

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  3. GREAT JOB! Kritstin and Jodie.

    Heidi, you know I am already a fan, and your work never fails to WOW me!

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  4. Heidi, your art is so beautiful! Thanks for your courage in sharing your life challenge with us. I wish you the very best.
    Kristin and Jodie--this is a terrific idea! Looking forward to reading more.
    Lindsey McDivitt

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  5. Heidi, Thank you for sharing your work and your hard-won wisdom. The depth from which you speak comes through in the strength and vibrancy of your artwork as well. Blessings and continued healing to you. Most Sincerely, Elizabeth McBride

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  6. This is a question for Kristin and Jody but I can't seem to find anywhere else to ask it---will we still be sharing marketing news, Hugs & Hoorahs, etc? I don't see any of those at this time. Thanks!

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    1. I emailed Monica, but for anyone else who is reading this, we will definitely have Hugs and Hurrahs - I'm compiling them now for an upcoming post. We'll have to look at market news going forward, but the SCBWI Bulletin and our listserv continue to be good resources for that info.

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  7. Wow! Heidi, I can see why you got the mentorship--touching, heartfelt essay. Impressive!

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  8. I'm such a neophyte here that I forgot there might be posts (and replies!). I really and truly very touched by the kind words and feedback. Thank you all, a bit late! XO Heidi

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  9. Thank you to Jeff and Heidi for their gorgeous artwork! And, Heidi, thank you for your honesty and inspiration, all wrapped up in your beautiful essay. It's a touching reminder of what matters in life--the perfect start to the new year. Happy 2015 to everyone!

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  10. Jeff - thanks for a little insight into your creative world, challenges, and motivations. I'm excited to see more of your work! And Heidi,I want that bronco girl! Love her spirit.

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  11. Amazing artwork Jeff (and Heidi). Fascinating that Matt Faulkner suggested the 3-D look. The value of SCBWI is our proximity to working writers and illustrators. The sparks that fly when creative minds meet fuels the forge of inspiration.

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  12. Love it, Jeff! Your art is fabulous and it's great to see more of it.

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  13. Great art work Heidi and hugs all over for you...And Jeff, the cover is so good - just want to reach out and squeeze the other hand of the tree, or two or more! Love clay too!

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