Meet the Illustrator Karen Dugan

illustrator archives

When I was 2, my first masterpiece was on a brand-new white bedspread with a tube of red lipstick.

In the first grade, I wrote and sold comic books for milk money (3Ę). The teacher stopped me because too many kids went without their milk, so I just gave the books away.

I wish I could say I was a good student. My teachers confiscated book after book because Iíd sneak a read during class. With-out the book, Iíd look out the window and daydream or cover my work paper with drawings. After school I wrote and drew stories instead of homework. I couldnít help it: it was in my blood.

Now Iím sorry for all the gray hairs I gave my hardworking teachers and all the librarians who had to replace the lost books of my youth.

I used to work at an art table, but my paints and brushes always fell. So I followed gravity, and now I work like this:

My biggest joy (aside from Paul Dugan) is BOOKS. I even studied for three years with master bookbinder Daniel G. Knowlton. I get goosebumps walking into a bookstore or library.

Sometimes finishing something in my head was enough for me. But people canít read your mind. When you say, "I have a great idea," they say, "So, where is it?" Itís taken me a long time to learn to finish things. I work best at home. I tried to work in an office, but they took my books away, and I daydreamed out the window. Right now I have so many projects itís hard to find time to read.

I have illustrated many books, including three of my own: The Louisa May Alcott Diary; Above My Head, Beneath My Feet; and Fly Away Home. I have more ideas, but you can only finish one at a time.

Meet the Illustrator Archive:

Robin Hansen

Margot Apple

Marylin Hafner

Valeri Gorbachev

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