Brenda Clark - Illustrator
Brenda Clark began drawing as a small child and realized by the age of 17 that she wanted to become a commercial artist. She studied Illustration at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, and graduated with an honors diploma in 1977. Shortly afterward, Brenda found that there was plenty of work for a freelancer in educational publishing and her first jobs were for elementary school books. This experience gave her plenty of published examples for her portfolio and a better understanding of how to interpret a story with pictures.
Kids Can Press was looking for new creators in the early 1980s and Brenda was ready to try illustrating picture books. She signed her first contract with KCP in 1983 for a story called Christopher and the Dream Dragon by Allen Morgan (no longer in print). All of the illustrations were created in black-and-white washes. Morgan wrote another charming story, called Sadie and the Snowman, which suited Brenda's style and this time she was asked to illustrate in full color.
In 1985, the manuscript for Franklin in the Dark, written by Paulette Bourgeois, was offered to Brenda and by the following year it was published with rave reviews. Since then, Brenda has illustrated more than 30 Franklin titles and numerous activity books for the series. Franklin and his friends quickly became popular around the world and by 1997 the first animated episode of Franklin was televised. Brenda helped to launch a series of Franklin spin-off books. She also assisted with approvals for merchandise created from the illustrations.
One other successful collaboration with Paulette Bourgeois is the delightful Big Sarah's Little Boots.
Brenda is still painting and lives in Port Hope, Ontario, with her husband and son.