I was born with an innate sense of joy and yet battled a stubborn sense of low self-esteem. This elemental joy and disbelief in self proved to be my greatest teacher. Feeling I didn't matter forced me to find where and how I did. False starts abounded until the day I wrapped my eager, undisciplined fingers around the body of a burgundy-silver Parker fountain pen. It was filled with a shade of such turquoise salt-water blue ink that once, when oodles of pages tumbled to the floor, I imagined I could dive in and swim away.
Boom. I found my joy and myself.
This exploration and acceptance of self is the focal point of my books for children and fiction for adults. For children, the more fun I can make learning, the faster a child engages and retains knowledge. Huzzah!
Sometimes good luck swoops down from the sky, causing me to blink into its dazzle. Being asked to keep company with such greats as Graeme Base, Maria Kalman, Maurice Sendak, and others, on the pages of "Wings of an Artist," Children's Book Illustrators Talk about Their Art. (Harry Abrams, pub) for example. Especially satisfying after years of being told I had no talent.
This illustration shows how it feels to be an illustrator of children's books and to never give up!