Tess Feltes

Photo by Charter Weeks

During her childhood on a farm in Central Ohio, earthiness, tenacity, and patience were so much a part of life for Tess Feltes that they became ingrained in her. Following a period of exploration, Tess found a true path studying scientific illustration at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. In her career, Tess has collaborated with botanists, entomologists, and other researchers on hundreds of drawings.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

What’s your favorite line from a book?

"…drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of what you see."
—Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Robert McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings); Kenneth Grahame (The Wind in the Willows); Eric Rohmann (Time Flies)

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

As a quiet child, I became familiar with the tiny miracles that take place on the edge of a brook, in the woods, in the fields, and on the farm. My art is an attempt to capture this fascination with beauty.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Always travel with a pencil and a sketch book, and remember it is not half so important to know as to feel.