Laura Diehl is a Northern Virginia based freelance illustrator who specializes in the genres of children’s/YA illustration, fantasy illustration and science fiction illustration. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Emphasis in Illustration, from James Madison University in 2006. All of her images are hand-painted digitally using a large, sun-warmed, Wacom Intuos and Photoshop. Her work is known for its magical color, glowing light sources, and whimsical yet believable feel.
1. What must you have in your studio to inspire you?
A cup of steaming jasmine-green tea and warm sunlight.
2. What do you love most about drawing/writing? Would you rather do one over the other?
What I love about both is the ability to tell stories, whether verbally or visually. I’ve really been finding that I enjoy them as complements to one another. A big reason is that through writing I am able to then illustrate my own ideas and stories as a complete package, which is an immensely freeing thing for someone used to doing lots of client work!
3. What is the hardest and easiest part of the illustrative process for you?
Hardest part is wrapping up and polishing all the details at the end. The easiest and most fun part is coming up with neat layouts and concepts in my head to start with: that initial spark that fuels the rest.
4. What five words best sum up your personality?
Quiet. Creative. Cozy. Introspective. Whimsical.
5. Other than drawing, what else do you love to do?
I love all matter of other fantasy media: books, movies, video games, etc.
6. Describe your perfect day.
Full of sunlight and quiet. It starts off with yoga and hot tea and a productive early morning writing session, followed by a creative art session in the afternoon.
7. Do you have a particular work schedule you follow?
I generally try to be “in the studio” and working from 9-5 throughout the week. Though, working from home, I love having the flexibility to go out on a long walk around lunch time in beautiful weather.
8. What are some of your past, current, and/or next projects?
I’ve done a number of book covers, mostly YA/Fantasy in nature, for small presses, foreign press, educational press, and self-publishing authors. Currently there is a series coming out in Sweden called Den Eviga Eldens Magi: Alex och Corinthia by Patrik Bergström, that I did 5 covers for and all of the many interior illustrations. My current personal project is an illustrated young chapter book set in a fantasy dream world of my own creation.
9. What would you like children to take away from your books?
A sense of whimsy, wonder, and magic.
Thanks, Laura, for a tour of your world! Visit Laura at these sites: