© David Love
Elaine S. Verstraete creates art and illustration from her studio in Middlesex, New York. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and currently teaches illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology. Elaine’s illustrations appear in numerous children’s books, including six titles with Lerner Publishing Group. Her work also appears on Wegmans brand product labels and numerous Rochester-area festival posters, including Rochester’s renowned Lilac Festvial.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
- The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-exupery, Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
What’s your favorite line from a book?
- "Fuss, fuss, fuss."—Churchmouse Stories, Margot Austin
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Greg Harlin, Toulouse Lautrec, and Norman Rockwell
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I envisioned an unusual life that challenged me, tapped into my creativity, and offered variety. I believed one has the most chance of achieving happiness by living one’s passions and I simply loved to make pictures.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
- Draw every day—practice brings growth. Draw what you love and love what you draw. Your loving attention will come through your creation. Educate your eye and your mind—the more you know, the smarter your illustrations will be. Be confident in your work, but remain open to opinions and input of others—illustration is a collaborative endeavor.