|Whooping crane from "Ephemeral by Nature"|
Often asked about the covers and illustrations in my books, I generally reply, "I'm the only illustrator I can afford."
But the fact is, I have been drawing since I was 8 or 9-years-old. Don't know why. Some kids dance. (I cannot.) Some kids tell jokes. (I cannot remember one to retell.) For me, the drawing just started and Mom would often buy me arty supplies for Christmas. One year, my parents gave me a Gilbert microscope set with prepared slides. (I still have it.) I clearly remember looking through the eyepiece sketching what I saw: a fly's wing, a bee's leg, a gnat. It was an early indicator of things to come. A budding naturalist recording the natural world.
Today I write books for UT Press and draw in my studio the things that interest me. I also work with a lot of junior naturalists at Ijams. We often look at newts, dragonflies and stinkbugs. Ergo, encourage you child's interests and someday they might draw you a bug.