Sitting in my dad's yellow leather chair, copying illustration after illustration out of encyclopedias is one of my earliest memories linked to my lifelong passion for art.
In my early 20s, while at college, I was enticed to go on two different canoe expeditions to the Arctic Barrens, now known as Nunivut. After traveling roughly 1,500 miles, truly wild places and their importance made me a passionate environmental steward.
After earning a BA in education and a Masters in Educational Administration from University of Idaho, I moved to environmental education and earned a Masters in Zoology from Miami University. While studying, I was able to travel to three conservation hotspots around the world: the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the pristine rainforest of Guyana, and the coral reefs of Belize. In addition to these learning adventures, I traveled to the rainforest of Costa Rica with an average of 14 middle school students to help them experience this verdant haven for 12 years in a row.
My fascination with the natural world, resplendent with pattern, texture, detail and color, dictates my intricate art style. Traditional watercolor, gauche, colored pencils and digital photography lend themselves to my desire to capture what brings me endless joy. My stories and illustrations work in tandem to share about our environment and the creatures who are part of the intricate web of life on earth. My characters use humor while unexpected twists and turns can be found within the page turns. The unique intricate style of my illustrations add subtle information about life's creatures.
After a life in education as a teacher of middle school children with a focus on science, and then as a principal of an elementary school, children's emotional health is addressed using the natural world as a guide.
While I have moved from encyclopedias to real world experiences, my desire to tell stories of our world through art and words will never waver.
Would love to work with you!
If you need an illustrator, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook account: facebook.com/perky.smithhagadone