On getting a dinosaur book for my fifth birthday, I wrote an illustrated story about a diplodocus family who spent Sunday afternoons at the bowling alley. When our kindergarten teacher insisted that I share my little book with the second-graders and explain how it was crafted, I had my first exciting experience as an author-illustrator and educator.
Since that time, the wildlife and landscapes I observe on my daily walks, and those seen on my trips abroad, have strengthened my visual storytelling to spark curiosity and inspiration for kids-book lovers of all ages. I combine the extensive research and detailed accuracy of scientific illustration, which I teach at the college level, with my love of world-building, character design, lively interaction, and a whimsical humor that engages young readers.
I exhibit my award-winning work at international, national, and regional venues and have five published picture books. I'm also a proud and active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, providing leadership for their Nebraska chapter as Co-Illustrators Coordinator.
Please reach out—I would love to hear from you!
•Authoring and co-authoring my own illustrated picture book stories
•Illustrating other authors’ picture book and middle grade works
•Contemporary and historical fiction, nonfiction, and creative nonfiction
•Illustrating covers and spot/interior art for middle grade and YA
•Maps and hand-lettering for picture book, middle grade, and YA
•Humans’ relationships with animals and the natural world
•History and mythology
•Art history and visual culture
•Contemporary and historical fashion
•2022 SCBWI Marvelous Midwest Conference Promotional illustration and graphic.
—Invited by SCBWI-MM Conference Committee.
•Designed SCBWI-Nebraska Chapter Logo
—Invited by SCBWI-Nebraska Regional Advisor.
•5 picture books published by McGraw-Hill, McGraw-Hill Interamericana, and Renaissance House.
•Magazine illustrations for Highlights and Cricket Media.
•Sowing the Seeds of Liberty —National Heritage Museum long-term exhibition.
—Picture docent illustration series for grade school children.
•Created 2D game art and animation for Genre Jam, music tapping game for iPhone and iPad.
—Collaboration with independent game developer Fussy Kid.
Arnie and Zippy picture book description
Based on actual events, Arnie and Zippy incorporates the scientific method in telling how a boy and his pet hen win a blue ribbon at the County Fair by proving that chickens not only see color but can learn to pick one color over another if given a reward.
There’s a lot of squawking going on when Arnie and his pet, Zippy, the smartest hen on his family’s urban farm, set out to win the County Fair science contest.
For his experiment, Arnie arranges three colored dots in a row. He shows Zippy a little bag of corn and gives her a kernel every time she picks yellow. But when the rest of the flock tries to horn in, Zippy snatches the bag out of Arnie’s hand and it’s every hen for herself!
Arnie knows they can ribbon if Zippy plays the game like they practiced. If not, the outcome’s up for grabs!
Chapeaux Chix picture book plot synopsis:
To draw a larger crowd for Critterville’s Spring Festival, the village mayor orders a stunning hat from the hen-chick duo Chapeaux Chix to give local celebrity, Madame Classe, at the event. As townsfolk flock to their shop in droves, the Chix see success within reach--until Classe’s last-minute cancelation threatens to undo all their hard work.
Portals. Maryland Federation of Art
Watercolor USA. Springfield Art Museum. Springfield, MO
One-person exhibition—Drawing As Seeing. Rivier University, Nashua, NH
Two-person exhibition. Grey Fox Mercantile, New Hartford, NY
One-person exhibitions. Art Inspired Gallery, Springfield, MO
Summer 2018, Fall 2017
Creative Quarterly 49, international juried on-line exhibition
Americas 2017: Paperworks - international juried exhibition,
Northwest Art Center, Minot State University, ND
•BFA in Design, Missouri State University. MFA in Illustration, SCAD.
•Three-year Visual Storytelling Mentorship with E.B. Lewis.
•Created graphic design, editorial and advertising illustration, and storyboards for TV commercials at newspapers and ad agency in Kansas City, Missouri.
•Taught graphic design and illustration at colleges in New England and Nebraska.
Greater Denton Arts Council Micro-Grant
Funding for Rascally Ravens picture book exhibtion • Summer 2022
Bill Armstrong Memorial Award • Summer 2021
New England SCBWI Portfolio Showcase • Spring 2019
Portfolio Showcase Bronze Award
North Texas SCBWI Conference • Fall 2018
Iowa SCBWI Illustrators Intensive • Fall 2017
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and illustrated by John Schoenherr
Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim and illustrated by EB Lewis
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America by Roger Tory Peterson
•Seeing a pair of nesting quetzals and witnessing a live volcanic eruption in Costa Rica.
•Foraging wild blue berries in the Monadnock Mountains, New Hampshire.
•Sketching from Francisco Goya’s printmaking plates for Los Caprichos at Real Academia de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain.
•Drawing Notre Dame Cathedral from life in Paris, France.
•Walking, Hiking, & Cycling
Walk between 4 – 9 miles daily.
Recent sightings include: Yellow Crowned Night Herons fishing for crawdads and minnows in local creek, Western Kingbirds catching insects on the wing, Kestrel hovering over field prey.