Thursday, December 13, 2012

SACRED Art Show Lives On! With Heather Anne Soodak!

Even though SACRED is now available to purchase, the Art Show lives on! I will be featuring a few more authors before we find an installation for the whole show... and when it's up, I will share where you can go see these beautiful works in person.

Today I am so excited to share the work of Heather Anne Soodak.

E: I love the perspective in this piece, and the colors! How did you choose this image?

H: I love the “spark” that Scarlett and Will have, it reminds me of being a teenager again! This moment in the school library captures that yearning they have between one another: “I had thought I was subtle in my observation of him, but when Will looked up, he found my eyes at once.” I also chose the library scene because I like that the two are both well educated and have that connection of reading and seeking knowledge.
This piece does not demonstrate my typical, cartoony style but it seemed fitting for a more serious and magical moment.

E: How did you become an artist?

H: When I was three I started scribbling, and it took off from there! It did help that my parents were encouraging. I got my first rejection letter at ten years old when I submitted an illustration to Cricket magazine-that must have been when I was serious about being an illustrator.
An early Heather Soodak original

E: Who and what inspire you?

H: Animals mostly because when I look at them I see such character, and it just makes me inspired to write and illustrate stories of them! Childhood is also an inspiration for me, I try to remember how it felt to be a kid and then my imagination runs freely. Illustrators that inspire me are Quentin Blake for getting the expression and movement just right, Maurice Sendak for touching our hearts, and Peter de Sève for his humor, though there are many more!
Heather's dog Darwin
E:What is a typical workday like for you?

H: I start the day teaching art part-time to elementary and high school students, which I love. It is rewarding sharing the excitement of art, to pass it onto young ones that create masterpieces of their own! Then, usually run errands or go home to walk my little brindle mutt Darwin who excitedly bounces about when I arrive, how could I resist? Then I have a snack, and then relax by reading, yoga, or watching a favorite show. Then I cook a nice large dinner (my favorite meal of the day) for Chris and myself, and then at about 9 or 10 I like to lose myself in the current illustration project (I am a night owl). Sometimes I do murals and work all weekend, it varies depending on what projects are coming up! That’s what makes the Illustrator’s life exciting!
Heather's workspace

 E: What other projects—both professional and personal—are you involved in?

H: I am currently working on a commission to draw a lovely librarian’s two adorable cats, promotional postcards to send out to publishers, holiday cards for family ands friends, the Picture Book Idea Month Challenge, a story about a girl and the ocean, pieces for an upcoming art show at the Art Exchange in Long Beach, organizing everything, designing my art website, and training my new puppy Darwin. Phew!

E: What advice would you give people who’d like to break into the art world?

H: If you can narrow down what you are about in one idea, (find your niche) and learn how to promote yourself for that, it will help a lot. Don’t give up, if you love it, and know you are meant for it, do it! What else is life about?

E: Do you have a web presence?

H: Check out my artwork at Working on the new site, so enjoy current work on for now.

E: If you could meet any character in SACRED, who would it be and why?

H: I would want to meet Will, how could a girl not? So insightful and mysterious<blush>! And, the animal character I want to meet is Delilah of course; she seems like a nice and gentle horse. Both of these characters helped Scarlett through a difficult time. 

Here's Heather's lovely piece in sketch form:

...and in process:

...and, once more, in all its final glory:

Thank you so much, Heather!!


  1. Thanks Elana, what a fun opportunity! I can't wait for the next book to come out!!!

  2. That makes two of us! Thanks so much for your beautiful contribution.