ABOUT ERIKA WILSON
I have been an artist ever since I learned how to operate a crayon! I have always dreamed of being an author and illustrator of children’s books, ever since I attended my first “Young Authors Conference”. . . in first grade!My first illustrated picture book, THE SPILL, came out in June of 2018. Written by Jacqueline Leigh and published by Mascot Books, THE SPILL was the winner of a Bronze Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for Preschool Picture Books.My second illustrated book, SKEDADDLE, came out in September of 2020, and was another collaboration with author Jacqueline Leigh! SKEDADDLE was published by Mascot Books.I recently finished illustrating my third picture book, which was written by fellow Montanan and SCBWI member Sue Lawrence, called MONTANA’S MEMORY DAY. It officially releases this November. (2021)I am honored to have served as the Montana Region’s Illustrator Coordinator from 2018 through 2021, where I coordinated illustrator programming and events such as our SCBWI Montana Two-Step Contest!Lastly, I am the owner and operator of a charming, old-timey letterpress print shop called The Windy Mill Press, where I create art prints and stationery of all kinds using hand-set metal and wood type and antique presses. My most recent picture book project (MONTANA’S MEMORY DAY) features hand-carved linocut print illustrations, and I cannot wait to combine my two passions of illustration and printmaking on more books in the future!
- I was blessed to grow up on a Montana farm, surrounded by hayfields, livestock, and lots of heavy equipment! By the grace of God (and good parents) I learned to do a lot of cool things with my own two hands—(with good tools, of course!)Always an artist, I got especially swept up by printmaking because I fell in love with two things: its meditative rhythms, and its collection of timeless tools. I believe printmaking and letterpress are some of the lost arts of our past and it is a personal mission of mine to keep them alive in my own little practice. I often feel like I was born 100 years too late, and this art form ties me to generations past.Like the fan blades of a windmill that pump water from the ground, the flywheel of my antique Chandler and Price platen press and the gear-driven drum of my etching press work almost like magic. These beloved workhorses of mine crank out one print after the next with their quiet muscle—slow and steady.Technology is amazing (and necessary), but it also overwhelms me. The organic, tactile nature of print is extremely therapeutic to me and gives me peace where my computers and devices make me crazy! I hope you can find a raw and simple beauty in the things I create from linoleum, wood type, paper, ink, and a big beautiful hunk of iron.(With a little elbow grease thrown in.)ErikaThe Windy Mill Press