I can't remember what it was
like before I drew. I was introduced to
watercolors and art supplies when I was about four years old. Through childhood and my teens
drawing and painting were my favorite pastimes.
I volunteered to paint for the
church , do backgrounds for the school plays, and entered local contests to bring home awards.
Whether painting large murals or posters I was
hooked. It wasn't until after I had children that I started working
with my art full time. I began to sell my work at shows and in shops in 1986. Keeping up with
the demands for
various shops and shows kept me happy and very busy.
I was fascinated by the
illustrations of Howard Fosters "Prince Valiant" and anything Walt
Disney Studios did.
Today I am greatly influenced by the work of Yvonne Gilbert, Brian
Froud, Charles Santore and my favorite illustrator; Trina Schart Hyman.
I usually work in pen and
inks with watercolors. The spontaneity and softness of the
seem to lend to the sweetness of the children and a mystical feel to
the fantasy illustrations.
It is a great joy to illustrate a
story. I like to illuminate the author's words and bring them to
life with characters and surroundings that reveal the world around them.
It is like being a part of a creative puzzle. Each group of words and
each illustration are pieces of the puzzle fitting together perfectly
with the end result…. telling a story.
Although drawing fantasy is
the most enjoyable because it would seem elves, fairies, trolls,
goblins, and dragons will flow from my pencils on their own. I also
love illustrating children just doing what children do. Climbing trees,
swinging on a swing. Something about those little cheeks bring a smile
to my face every time I paint them. Currently I am illustrating a
children's book by working with the author.
To me the world can be a wondrous
place of magic, filled of enchantment and miraculous things. I like my work
to reflect that. I am truly happy when I can be a part of the magic by
making the unbelievable….believable through my illustrations.
Linda M Heller