Susan Mitchell - Illustrator
When Susan was a child, her mother would read books to her and her sister every night, and they loved the magic of looking at the intricate illustrations from books such as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Wind in the Willows. The sisters would then spend hours making up their own stories and creating illustrations for them.
It seemed a natural progression to study art as an adult and she received a degree in drawing and painting from Edinburgh College of Art in 1984. She had various jobs after graduating, but unfortunately none of them had anything to do with illustration. Her most interesting and creative jobs were working as a scenic artist's assistant at an old theatre and running art workshops for community groups.
In 1994, she emigrated with her husband from Scotland to Montreal. Just before leaving, she visited a gypsy fortune teller who told her she would not only move across the water and have an only son, but she would begin illustrating children's books. This prediction encouraged her to pursue her illustration career instead of just dreaming about it. Shortly after a friend helped to put her portfolio website together, Susan received her first book contract to illustrate The Christmas Pop-Up Present for Simon & Schuster.
Susan now feels very fortunate to work full-time as an illustrator, with 18 published titles, including Reaching with Kids Can Press. When she is not drawing or painting, she loves to sew and make soft toys that resemble her illustrations. She also loves to visit schools to talk about her illustration process and hopes that she inspires some children to become illustrators when they grow up.
Susan is married to children's author P.J. Bracegirdle and has a son named Ewan.