I was drawn to Sheila's work by her use of rich, warm colors, and the whimsical faces and topics of her books. She creates her images using a combination of watercolor and digital media. Sheila is a recipient of the iParenting Media Award and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Portfolio Award. To date, she has illustrated 26 books for children.(WOW!)
Sheila was kind enough to share a little information about her work with me.
How did you learn about Robert's Snow?
we all felt so sad and frustrated and helpless. Who would have known
that Grace would turn all of this into something that would do so much good.
Can you tell us a little about the image on your snowflake?
with brain cancer. I was thinking about what I would most like to do
with them if I had 10 more minutes with them. (then I added some
How did you come to be an illustrator?
but Illustration is what I love. I always have gone back to it.
(A little background on those other good jobs--Sheila holds a B.S. in graphic design from the San Jose State University. She began her career as a commercial artist, creating cards for Hallmark and Will Vinton Productions of Portland, Oregon. Her images have appeared in Forbes, The Oregonian, and Fine Cooking Magazine. She's also done work on Harry Potter merchandise--3D characters and sets for Harry Potter 3D Windows, a Viewmaster toy from Fisher Price/Mattel released in the summer of 2001.)
What were the biggest influences on your illustration style?
other artists' work every day. But the 3 artists I have always gone back
to were Edmund Dulac, Jessie Wilcox-Smith and Kay Nielsen.
Great choices! Those are some of my favorites, as well.
What kind of themes do you try to adddress in your work?
over the world and A LOT of odd pets. I like to paint plants and
animals. If I paint a leaf I don't want it to be just a leaf but a
Something a child can recognize if they go outside. I also love to
read. I am so happy to be able to help reading be a part of children's
I'd love to hear more about those odd pets! Plants and animals do sometimes work their way into her stories...
In The Wizard and King Whifflegroan (coauthored with Larry Miller), a wizard agrees to banish all the flies from the kingdom of a bath-refusing king-- on the condition that when he changes his mind, he agrees to take a bath every day for the rest of his life. First the spiders leave, due to a lack of flies, and then the swallows leave, due to a lack of spiders... Eventually the king is left with an empty kingdom, and takes back his wish. Sheila noted that she was prompted to do this book out of desire to write a child-friendly book about the environment.
What is your favorite published project?
(and here it is-- it looks like a fun project!)
Spaghetti and Peas (Flashlight Press, 2004)...a girl helps a mother snake find her babies (in the toybox!) while her dad is busy making spaghetti with peas. A great story for the snake-phobic, as you can't help but love these characters.
What's your favorite work in progress?
when I have down time or am frustrated by revisions. Now and then I can
just sit down and say to myself this is how I see things. This is what
looks good to me. I doubt I will ever send it to a publisher because
every time I look at the work i feel I need to change it. Alas, I am my
own worst art director.
I hope she does decide to submit it somewhere eventually!
Here's a spread from that story:
Wouldn't you love to see the rest of this? I would!
Your favorite medium?
Water color Love it love it love it !!
done by Sheila Bailey.
Don't miss your chance to own it!