I’ve always loved books. My favorites as a child were
Little House in the Big Woods and Miss Twiggly’s Tree.
The illustrations of Garth Williams inspired me from
the first moment I discovered them in the Little House
As with any artist, I started very young. I never liked
using crayons, only pencil. I filled many sketchbooks
with drawings of pioneers and Native Americans. My mother
is happy to say that I never drew on a wall until I
painted a Harry Potter mural on my son, Kiyon’s, wall.
This mural is based on Mary Grandpré’s first cover for
the Harry Potter series. I borrowed the first book from
my nephew, loved the illustrations so much, I also bought
it. J.K. Rowlings’ books pull her readers into a richly
painted world that many kids and adults dream of inhabiting.
I love that about children’s books, which is why this
is my chosen field. The chance of creating a new world
out of pure imagination excites me. Reading a book is
the cheapest way to travel--you don’t have to pack!
I use watercolor pencils, primarily Caran d’ache. I
apply them dry on toned paper or over watercolor. I
start with sketches then transfer them to my paper.
It’s not the quickest medium, but I’ve always loved
the feel of a pencil in my hand. I envy those who can
paint with wild abandon, but haven’t managed that so
far myself. Illustrating with color pencil allows me
to have the perfect job—I can sit on the couch, watch
HGTV, and work. What other career offers all that?
I have also worked as a designer for years and am proficient
in the Adobe Creative Suite on the Mac. Now if I had
a laptop, I’d never have to leave the couch!
Laura L. Zarrin
Illustrator of Who's in a Family, Tricycle Press
Check out my website and online store at http://www.zarrindesign.com
NEW!! Purchase prints at my new online gallery at