Author & Artist Corner: Artist
Carolyn Digby Conahan
I am illustrating the September 2009 cover of Cricket. Click here to see my sketches for this month's Cricket!
How did I get to be the staff illustrator (bug artist) for Cricket? As a child I was not favored by bugs. Mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies, and deerflies all preferred my sister. I was not the choice of honeybees, either. Once I happened upon a swarm buzz-buzz-buzzing amongst themselves in the tree branches and tall grasses at the edge of a field. Despite my obvious advantages of size and strength, they did not choose me to be queen when they flew off to their new home.
I'm sure the Cricket Country bugs were perfectly happy in the hands of the very talented Jean Gralley (bug artist from 1987-2002), who learned their little ways from the great Trina Schart Hyman, who created them in 1973 and drew them until passing the pen to Jean. The Cricket folks didn't exactly choose me, either. Sure, there was a selection process and it was long, long, long. But at the end there were two of us, and they couldn't decide. So they put the choice (in the form of sample strips) before some kids. The kids chose me. (I don't know why, the other guy is really good! But they did.) Thanks, kids.