Get to Know Our Illustrator: Sheila Fein

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I’ve been part of SCBWI for 9 years. The mediums I prefer are digital, and acrylic. Once I have an idea, I do a thumbnail sketch, then I research the web or my past work for anatomical positions, etc. I also take photos on my Iphone that apply to what I am doing or that inspire me. If I am working digitally I open photoshop and cut and paste visuals I need and then begin drawing. If I am doing an acrylic painting I do that composite drawing on tracing paper and then either project it on a canvas or use the stencil method. I also begin at times with color or line drawings from my imagination.

I have been an illustrator since college in the early 70's. I have always been a writer, first poems, and then children's stories. I would bring them to life with many media. As time progressed I learned how to convert my work digitally which was a direct way to illustrate and send high resolution files to publishers and clients.

I am both self taught and studied in Europe independently sponsored by Buffalo State College in New York where I received my degree.I have also continued my studies at Albany State U, Fleisher's Art Memorial in Philadelphia.

I have many dedicated spaces in my home to work. I have taken over our dining room, our 3 garage, and I have a library in my home where I work digitally and keep all my books. My dream book to illustrate is one that I have contemplated for over 20 years. It would be called The ABC's of Cloud Formations. I am obsessed with clouds and what you can imagine you see in them.

I am working for an independent author illustrating and designing her book for publication. It is called Bainya A Tiger Born Without Stripes. It is a beautiful story about self image, good deeds, and having a good heart. Bainya's tiger parents try to help him understand why he does not have stripes and take him to some special tiger doctors. He is uncertain if he is a real tiger. We go on Bainya's journey and find he is the best kind of tiger.

I also write my own stories. Last year I finished co-writing  a book called, Pookie and Dookie with another author. I illustrated, designed it, and self published it for us both. I also have two other books ready to find a publisher for that have complete dummies.

My advice for beginning writers is: Draw what you love and find your style by creating work with the critic off your shoulder.

I love to work directly with clients but I am currently looking for an agent. My published books include: Mama Graciela's Secret (Edition 1 and 2), My Milk will Go Our Love Will Grow, Okelani's Enchanted Wheelchair Space Bound!, Okelani's Enchanted Wheelchair Under the Sea!, Pookie and Dookie Become Friends.

Some facts you probably don’t know about me are that I live in the Santa Monica Mountains, I ran figurative drawing works for over 15 years, I love to work from my imagination, I love to write children's stories, and I love my Charlie Sage Chocolate Lab!

You can connect with me at

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