Sunday, October 14, 2007

Paige Keiser, illustrator, Robert's Snow participant

There's this lovely fundraiser going on in the world of children's literature. Short version goes like this: illustrator Grace Lin lost her husband to cancer after a tough fight. Before he died, the two of them cooked up a way to raise money for cancer research - based on her book Robert's Snow, they recruited children's book artists to paint wooden snowflakes to be auctioned off.

So far, this project has raised over $200,000 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

This year's auction is underway, and this year, dozens of kidlit bloggers are doing our small part to draw attention to the auction by highlighting some of the contributing artists. Go have a look at these snowflakes, they are inventive, adorable, beautiful, and pretty damn reasonable!

Paige Keiser's is particularly sweet, I think. Paige is the lovely and talented, gracious and hardworking illustrator of Moon Ladder and My Eight Book, although her lively characters and clear colors show up in magazines and in her fine art work as well.

I asked Paige about her history in art, and she told me there was pretty much NO chance she would have become anything else - at seven years old, she knew she wanted to be a Disney animator. Paige took extra art classes throughout grade, middle and high school, winning many school art awards along the way. Her interests moved to fine art and still life painting in college, and after discovering a book about N.C. Wyeth at a book store, fell in love with illustration. "I loved the magical interplay between words and pictures."

After graduating college, Paige sent off samples to children's publishers and some to an agent, Cornell and McCarthy. Along with positive feedback from publishers, she was taken on by Cornell and has been drawing for books, magazines and educational materials ever since.

Bid on Paige Keiser's snowflake here. Bookmark it - the auction starts November 19.