view from my studio in the country
something about me...
I have always been interested in folk art from around the world:
Indian miniatures, Mexican ceramics, fabrics, Chagall, Matisse, children’s art, and primitive painting, and I love to paint and experiment with pattern, texture, collage and color.
The careers I’ve had – as a costume designer, a quilt maker, a fabric artist, and a graphic designer – have taken all these interests into account. Looking back, I can see that these passions and career choices have played a large part in influencing me to become a children’s book author and illustrator.
But most importantly, it was after my husband I adopted our daughter from Guatemala that I was inspired to do a children’s book for her. My first book, Over the Moon, was the story of that magical experience of welcoming our daughter Lena into our lives. I painted, I drew, I collaged, and I wrote , and after working very hard . . . a beautiful book was born! Twenty-two books later, my daughter – fourteen years old – still is an inspiration for me.
I am fascinated by babies and little kids. The simplest words and gestures can make them laugh. Sometimes standing in line at the supermarket and watching kids in grocery carts, my best ideas are born. I am fascinated by people from all over the world and what they look like and how they live and the differences that make us all unique.
When an idea pops into my head I ask these questions:
will a child want to read this book?
Will a parent want to read this book with their child?
Will this book make a parent and child feel something?
Is there something visual here that will hold a child’s interest?
Will a child see something in a different way after reading this book?
If the answer is yes, then I know I’m on the right track.
I am very lucky to get to do what I do. Everyday I go into my studio and have fun. Don’t get me wrong, some days are very frustrating. Sometimes the colors are all wrong and the words don’t sound right. But after I work at it for a while . . . and try to do it in a different way. . . and think. . . and change the words or colors . . . and try some more. . . suddenly, there it is – a great page of writing, or a great illustration..
And nothing is more satisfying than that!
view from my studio in NYC