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One of my most exciting creative discoveries was when I began exploring an art material called polymer clay.  I’ve always loved painting with lots of colors—and I’ve always loved sculpting and making things with my hands.  When I started working with polymer clay, I realized that I could enjoy both of these artistic experiences with this one material!  I create all of my book illustrations with polymer clay.

I discover and learn new ways of working with polymer clay with every picture I make.  My studio is filled with all sorts of tools and gadgets that help me create my art.

I have shelves and drawers of sculpting tools, recycled materials and even kitchen equipment that I use!

Polymer clay is not an earthen clay—it is actually a plastic material. You can mold, shape and sculpt just about anything you can imagine with it. The illustrations I create for my books are relief sculptures. I sculpt my pieces on a flat board, then I bake them in an oven to make them hard and permanent.  It often takes me many hours, days (even weeks) just to create one illustration.

I try to celebrate my creativity everyday—especially when I’m in my studio making my art and books!  The arts are so important for expressing our feelings, thoughts, gaining knowledge, and communicating with others.  Creating books is a wonderful way of sharing your own special stories too!”    

Watch the movie above to see how I created the coral these angelfish are grazing on.

What I probably love most about creating picture books is how much I get to learn when I’m working on a project.  Whether it’s researching the subject matter of a story, designing a book—or creating the art itself, it is always exciting!

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“I’m continuously fascinated by

stories, ideas, dreams and

discoveries.  Our creativity

and imagination give us the

power to explore our world in our

own unique ways—and the arts

provide us multiple languages to share

our thoughts with others…