Illustrator and Writer
||5-10, 11-13, and 14-17
||Anywhere in my country
I grew up near Buffalo New York in a family chock full of musicians, artists, and crazy people with a love for life. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon and never stopped. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an artist. To that end I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art from Messiah College with a concentration in Drawing and Illustration, and completed coursework from the Tyler School of Art. I worked for nine years as an artist and designer before returning to my first love: children’s book illustration. My experience includes illustrating children’s books, teaching art at the Chesapeake Center for Creative Arts, and publishing artwork with magazines and multiple publishing houses. I am the Co-Regional Advisor for the Maryland, Delaware West Virginia SCBWI Region, and I have mentored with EB Lewis.
I now live, and work, from my home studio in Maryland and enjoy spending time with my husband and four young children. To contact me please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
My presentation focuses on perseverance by sharing my journey to become an author/illustrator. I walk students through the various steps of writing, editing and illustrating, and include them in short exercises along the way. It’s an interactive and entertaining presentation that includes behind the scenes photographs of both writing and illustrating allowing students to connect and feel more confident about their own work. I believe author visits should inspire and energize students to read and explore their own creative potential.
My typical presentations are designed for grades K-12 and run approximately 45 minutes. The presentation can be modified to fit your schedule, the age of the audience, or any specific needs, however, I have worked with large assembly presentations as well as small, intimate workshops. I can give up to three large-group presentations in one day and several small-group workshops on the same day. I’m also happy to have lunch with students and/or faculty.
I also offer virtual Skype visits. My typical Skype visit is approximately 45 minutes is an abbreviated presentation with lots of time for Q & A.
For a downloadable list of presentations and workshops please click HERE.
What to expect:
An educational, dynamic and interactive presentation geared toward the age level and specific educational goals of the audience. All content of every session is tailored to the audience. I showcase the revision process of writing and illustrating, along with the idea that if you are willing to work hard, your dreams can be achieved.
- My typical presentation is between 45-60 minutes.
- Workshops are typically 30-60 minutes long, depending on content.
- Session content will vary depending on audience age, time, and school requests.
- I arrive 20 – 30 minutes early, unless specifically requested to arrive earlier.
- I bring a jump drive, books, examples, and props.
- There is ALWAYS time for questions!
Additional workshop options:
- Who’s Your Hero?
Small group hands-on character illustration workshop – ILLUSTRATION
Every book needs a hero, but who is yours? What do they look like? What are they wearing? We will explore what makes a memorable main character using text, fashion, style, diversity, environment and attitude to evaluate famous main characters. Using what we’ve learned we will create our own main character/hero. At the end of the workshop, students will have a completed sketch that can be used in later class projects. (Recommended for grades K-12, supplies needed: pencils, paper, something to add color, and a hard surface to write on)
- Illustration: Stories Without Words
Small group hands-on illustration workshop – ILLUSTRATION
Do you love to draw? Paint? Create characters? Tell stories with pictures? This workshop explores how to use art to tell a secondary story, the story that only an illustrator can tell. As a group we will work with an actual picture book manuscript to look at what the words say and then use our artistic creativity to discover what could be happening in the art above and beyond the text. This workshop focuses on brainstorming, thinking outside the box and imagination! (Recommended for grades K-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard on which to write.)
- Editing-Shmediting: So Much More than Spelling
Small group hands-on editing process workshop – WRITING
This in-depth workshop focuses on the part of writing that most of us would rather skip: editing! We discuss the parts of the editing process and their importance. We review real manuscripts in-process and how they changed during editing. Finally, we review real draft manuscripts and apply our new knowledge of the editing process. (Recommended for grades 3-12. Supplies needed: pencils and a hard surface on which to write.)
- Hook Me, Reel Me In, and Leave Me Wanting More!
Small group hands-on story arc workshop – WRITING
During this workshop we discuss the basic story arc, what it means, and why it’s important. We will review well-known stories to see if they use the arc. We will then apply the story arc concept by creating a basic outline. At the end of the workshop, students will have a completed outline that can be utilized in later class projects. (Recommended for grades 2-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard surface on which to write.)
Small group hands-on writing workshop – WRITING
A word-smith works with words to create beautiful sentences. Too often we use plain vanilla words, but being a writer means finding the double-dutch-chocolate-caramel-twist words that will make our story KER-POW! This workshop begins by looking at how famous authors use words. As a class, we brainstorm how to make plain sentences into amazing sentences. Finally, students will be provided a dummy text which they will word-smith and share. (Recommended for grades K-12. Supplies needed: pencils, paper and a hard surface on which to write.)
- Custom presentations available upon request.
What I need from you:
- A room full of students!
- If you have chosen an interactive presentation or a small workshop, each student will need a paper and pencil and a hard surface to write on.
- An LCD projector and screen or blank wall to project on.
- Microphone (for groups larger than classroom size)
- Computer with PowerPoint OPTIONAL (I can bring my own, though sometimes linking to your projector can be tricky!)
- Electrical outlet and extension cord for projector
- An advance look at the schedule for the day