about the artist

I grew up in an old, Victorian home with doors that don’t quite close and my raucous five siblings in the outskirts of Chicago. I have always been enamored with children’s book illustrations–as a child they shaped my understanding of space, beauty, nobility, and the rich worlds offered to us by the imagination. As I devoured children’s books growing up, I was subconsciously feasting on the truth that each carefully crafted illustration was a doorway into a kingdom. This kingdom of the imagination has taught me to see in my own reality an untidy kitchen as the most endearing Shirley Hughes illustration, or the crabby little brother with tousled, morning hair as a whimsical Elsa Beskow drawing, or my favorite ancient burr oak as one of Arthur Rackham’s mystical, soulful trees. Art has a way of uniting the mundane with the transcendent; one illustration can dignify our most ordinary moments. As my love for illustration grew, I sought an excuse for the importance of making art. I began to realize that in each encounter I had with a good story or a noble illustration I was being invited into the Great Story.

The artist Marc Chagall said, “The dignity of the artist lies in his duty of keeping awake the sense of wonder in the world.” I am passionate about this call of the artist and long to create illustrations that offer intimations of the unseen real.

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mamie gillian

copyright 2024