"I knew that I wanted to make an orchestra story. I grew up playing the violin in Eugene, Oregon and spent middle school and high school and college playing in orchestras. I've always loved drawing instruments, but I couldn't really figure out how an orchestra story would work.
I worked on it for ages, probably two years, until one day I was watching the Portland Cello Project perform, and the Orchestra Pit story kind of came to me like a fully formed egg. What if a snake accidentally wandered into an orchestra pit, instead of a snake pit?
I took that idea and built the story around it, and it totally worked! My editor liked it, and we moved forward from there, tinkering with the text and the refining the illustrations."
20 years from now:
"So far, the last 20 years have been pretty fun creatively and professionally, so I guess I'm just hoping to have more of the same. I hope to keep challenging myself and step towards things that are new, even if they're hard or scary. That seems to be my recipe for creative happiness, so far..."
"I've been lucky enough to illustrate a new book series by Julie Sternberg. The first in the series, Celie Valentine, Friendship Over, comes out in October, and there are two more on the horizon, I've just started sketching for those. They're wonderful books, and I'm so excited to be taking part. Other than that, I've been working on a few new picture book ideas and making new images for my etsy store and beyond!"