My Illustrator
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Lon Eric Craven

I’ve been an artist all my life, and started heading into illustration before getting out of  elementary school. I was drawing dinosaurs, animals and people for classmates, concert programs and literary magazines. My hometown newspapers, The Kansas City Star and The Kansas City Times miraculously arrived every day with new illustrations, comics and political cartoons. Inspired, I started working for the high school newspaper, and began drawing political cartoons for the hometown paper by the age of 16.

 

The support of my parents and a few very valuable years at the University of Kansas took me further into illustration, and the idea of illustrating something permanent. The late Thomas B. Allen and his frequently-invited illustrator friends, combined with a lot of ink, pencil and paint edged me deeper into mediums that challenged me to each next level.

 

But the newspaper's promise of a space to illustrate – not to mention a steady job – kept me in the business through more than two decades of college, grad school, teaching and fatherhood. I currently work with ESL kids and other K-12 children in the public schools.

 

My experience in print media and children propelled me into children’s illustration. My hope is that the books I illustrate can teach and entertain children, their parents and their teachers for years to come. I thoroughly enjoy getting into classrooms and helping children learn what they need to discover and develop their own creativity.

 

My friends at  WendyLynn & Co. represent me to the publishing industry. A selection of my work also appears at childrensillustrators.com.

 

If my work interests you, or if you have any questions, drop me a note at lonericcraven@hotmail.com.

The Egg Lady Sketches

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When I saw the manuscript of The Egg Lady, I was struck right away by how personal the story was. It showed a journey of years, with disappointments and joys and unexpected twists blended into a fantasy just the right size for a children's book. Nance Ellen's additional input and encouragement provided a foundation upon which I could start building imagery.

 

Some rough thumbnail sketches spread the story over the length of a book. Nance Ellen and my artist representative, Wendy Mays at WendyLynn & Co. (www.wendylynn.com), worked with me to fine-tune the sketches and establish the size and scope of the book. The pictures then grew into the color illustrations you see today.

 

It was a pleasure working with Nance Ellen, and exciting to hear her story growing even as the illustrations for the book were in progress. The Egg Lady brought twins into Nance Ellen's family.

 

I couldn't have illustrated this book without the support from my wife and children, who are an immeasurable blessing in my life. They watched the pictures grow on my studio wall and helped me see the story and characters through different eyes.

 

My hope is that this book can be a blessing to families who want to share the miraculous events that brought their own children into the world.

 

- Lon Eric Craven, illustrator    

www.lonericcraven.com

Updated 2/21/10

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