My greater-than-average fascination with children’s books developed when I was quite young. The major cause of this fascination was my great aunt Opal Wheeler, a prolific writer of mid-century children’s books. Every year, Aunt Opal would gift the Wheeler kids with stacks of children’s books from her publisher, Dutton Books.
That was it… I was hooked. I must have inherited some of Opal’s creativity because no matter what I studied in school, I simply couldn’t help, but gravitate to art. After graduating from Elmira College with my B.A. in Studio Art and Art Education, I did the starry-eyed thing that all artists imagine doing and moved to New York. For a couple of years, I worked and learned the ropes in the juvenile books division of The Dial Press. Then it was time to establish my own freelance illustration business.
That was a while (and more than 75 illustrated books) ago. Along the way, I took advantage of some great opportunities to work on a variety of projects for many clients in many, diverse markets.
Loving New York but still longing for a touch of home now and again, I am currently dividing my time between Manhattan and my hometown of Ballston Spa, New York State’s first Free Trade town.
Since then she has enjoyed working on a variety of projects ranging from picture books to educational texts, magazines, greeting cards and licensed characters. She has illustrated over 60 books, and her client list includes Penguin USA, Random House, UNICEF, Kimberly Clark, Scholastic, and Universal Studios. Today, Ms. Wheeler divides her time between Manhattan and Ballston Spa, NY working in the very portable medium of watercolor.