Photo by Dustin Helmer
Der-shing Helmer is a high school biology teacher who originally went to college to learn about reptiles. After she graduated she decided to try teaching instead. In her spare time she likes to write and draw comics and read a variety of books!
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
- I really liked all of the Little House on the Prairie books. And horror books. I’ve liked thrilling stories all my life.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
- "‘Son,’ my father said to me, ‘someday this will all be yours.’"—Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Two favorite authors of mine are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H. P. Lovecraft. And one of my favorite illustrators is Claire Wendling.
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
It is fun to be able to share my drawings with a larger audience. I enjoy drawing for myself, of course, but I also love to hear what others think of my art. Being an illustrator lets me do just that!
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Just keep practicing! Illustrating well is like learning a language, the more you draw different things, the greater vocabulary you build and the more you are able to communicate through drawings. The more you draw, the better you will become.