Meet The Illustrator - Stephanie Hider
After the first book was published, I parted ways with my original publisher. This meant that if I wanted to do future Ben books and develop it into a series, I would not have access to the first illustrator that created the original character, look and feel. This would be a dilemma, mainly because my intention WAS to develop a series (not just ending it with the first book), and I wanted consistency across all Ben’s Adventures books.
Finding the right illustrator to work with would be extremely important. Approaching artists to work within a given character sketch and book style can be tricky. First, because you don’t want to restrict someone’s creativity when working on an art project, or worse, tell them exactly what to do. I know this from my years of experience managing creative teams. It’s best to let them run with an idea. But .. that said .. I still wanted the Ben and family characters to look the same as the first book.
Second, artists have certain styles where they are most comfortable. And was it possible I would find someone that could and would replicate the original Ben? And do it well?
When I started the search for the new illustrator, I asked them to replicate the original Ben just to see if it was possible. I had a few illustrators that declined, a few that did but didn’t do it well, and only a couple that did it well and fit other criteria (budget, timing, etc).
So … Meet Stephanie Hider.
Stephanie started drawing at five years old. Even at that young age, she recalls thinking about lines, and how they moved to create shapes that were complex characters. She practiced with many different characters, animals and people and experimented with acrylic charcoal, stippling, and her favorite, pencil.
By high school, Stephanie LOVED textile art and took weaving classes, competing nationally and ultimately showcasing a piece in New York City. Her love of textiles continued into college where she had several independent exhibits of her textile pieces. And her senior studies project was on Textile Art History.
After graduation, Stephanie took a job in the graphic design field where she would remain for several years. She designed collateral pieces such as brochures, tradeshow displays, packaging and direct mail. After spending some time at several advertising agencies and a Chicago-based publisher, she found herself in web design at a smaller agency.
Ultimately Stephanie decided to find her way back to her ‘first love’ – Art. She enjoys doing kid-based illustrations but also loves the variety of magical and mystical imagery as well.
She currently lives in Oklahoma with her daughter and malti-poo puppy. Her experience in many visual areas throughout her career give her the perfect mix of illustration and art, composition and story-telling, AND she knows the ins-and-outs of graphic design and its mechanics.
Fun Facts About Stephanie:
· Is an avid video gamer and sci-fi geek.
· She describes herself as a prolific reader, however doesn’t like being read to (biggest pet peeve)!
· Her favorite word is plethora and favorite color orange.
To see more of Stephanie’s work, visit her website here.
To learn more about Kickstarter and to pre-order the new Ben’s Adventures book, click here.