Author & Artist Corner: Artist

Emily Fiegenschuh: Star Shard

Emily Fiegenschuh

Emily Fiegenschuh's art career began at a very young age when she set up a card table in the hallway of her home and sold her drawings of monsters and animals to family members for five and ten cents. Later (much later), with support from said family members, she attended art school at the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and graduated with honors and a BFA from the Illustration program in 2001. After working for one year as a product designer at The Franklin Mint, Emily returned to her childhood dreams of creating creatures and characters when she began freelancing for Wizards of the Coast. Emily has done illustrations for numerous Dungeons and Dragons rulebooks, including Monster Manual II, Ghostwalk, and Races of the Dragon. Emily's illustrations can also be seen on the covers and interiors of the Mirrorstone young adult novel series Knights of the Silver Dragon, and in the New York Times bestseller A Practical Guide to Dragons, also published by Mirrorstone. She is currently illustrating the original fantasy series "The Star Shard" for Cricket.

Emily and her husband, Vinod, with their favorite pig In her spare time, Emily enjoys sculpting. She lives with her husband, Vinod, in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, where she can be found playing video games for too long on breaks, baking cookies at 1:00 a.m., or talking to her guinea pigs Cedric, Mims, Momji, Chester, and Peppi.

"I'm thrilled to be illustrating 'The Star Shard,'" says Emily, "and I'm really looking forward to hearing comments and questions about the illustrations from Cricket readers. I sketched many ideas for the characters of Cymbril, Rompol, Loric, and Urrt. You can see some of my sketches by clicking below, along with parts of the e-mails I sent explaining my ideas to the Cricket art director. I tried to include ideas for any important accessories on each page of characters, such as Cymbril's hairpin and Rombol's goose-headed cane. I hope you like the designs, and I can't wait to hear your comments! I had so much fun doing all of these drawings!"

Click below to see Emily's instructions for HOW TO DRAW the characters from "The Star Shard."



Click below to see Emily's sketches for "The Star Shard."


I like baking cookies at odd times too! I'd like to mention that my brother loves A Practical Guide to Dragons! Thank you for your wonderful illustration work.

submitted by Vendaval
(June 20, 2008 - 9:41 am)

Hi Vendaval,

Thank you so much for the compliments! I'm really glad your brother loves A Practical Guide to Dragons! It was really fun to work on. Did you know there are more books in the series? In case you were curious, my favorite cookies to bake late at night are chocolate chip. They're the easiest to make when I have a chocolate craving at a strange time! Which are your favorite?

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 24, 2008 - 8:14 am)

Dear Emily, just to tell you my favorite cookies are chocolate chip, too!

submitted by Amy
(June 24, 2008 - 3:12 pm)

I just LOVE your drawings. I actually draw quite a lot myself, though it's mostly manga. Your drawings remind me a bit of manga too, like the way you draw the hair and the side view of the eyes on Loric. He´s my favorite character, and I really like how you drew him. You´re a really great artist.

submitted by Karen elf fan
(June 21, 2008 - 8:30 am)

Hi Karen elf fan,

Thanks for writing, and thank you for the compliments, too!  It's great to hear you're drawing.  You have a very good eye; my drawings were very influenced by manga and anime, especially when I was in high school. Everything from animation to comic books to famous illustrators like Arthur Rackham inspired me to draw.  

Keep drawing! You will always be inspired by the art you like, and you will also notice a unique part of yourself showing up in your artwork.  It will always be there, sometimes even when you don't realize it, and it will grow and change over time.  That's part of what makes art so special.  Good luck!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 24, 2008 - 8:15 am)

I love your drawings for the Star Shard. I like to draw, too, like you. And I love the story, as well!

submitted by Ella
(June 22, 2008 - 4:50 pm)


submitted by Amy
(June 23, 2008 - 3:49 pm)

Hi Ella,

Thank you for the compliments!  I love the story, too.  It really sparked my imagination and I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas for the appearance and costumes of the characters.  It wasn't hard to get inspired because of the richness of the world Mr. Durbin created.

I'm so glad you like to draw, too.  Keep it up!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 24, 2008 - 8:16 am)

Cymbril is drawn beautifully!

submitted by Amy
(June 23, 2008 - 3:51 pm)

Hi Amy,

Thanks so much!  I'm glad you like her.

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 24, 2008 - 8:18 am)

Dear Emily,

Great illistrations! My brother plays Dand D, so I thought it was cool that you illistrated some of their rule books. I am completly thrilled with "The Starshard" and can't wait for more.

Love, Mayr              

P.S.  I'm a night person too.

submitted by Mayr S.
(June 24, 2008 - 8:19 pm)

Dear Mayr,

Thank you!  It's cool that your brother plays Dungeons and Dragons.  Have you tried it?  I played a few games of D&D with friends when I was in college.  It was good to have the background information of how the game works when creating illustrations for it.  I always try to do images that will get players excited for the game, and hopefully help them come up with good ideas for acting out their characters.


I love "The Star Shard," too, and am always excited to see how the illustrations and story look together when they're printed in each new issue.

Thanks for writing and don't stay up too late!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 26, 2008 - 8:44 am)

I love your drawings! how old where you when you started drawing? i love drawing and I'm not to bad. I wish I could send you a few drawings and you could help me improve them. my favorite things to draw are cats their shapes are so graceful so you have to use delicate lines to draw them. another favorite is dragons. my grandmother is an artist and she does art lessons with me and my cousins. I'm illustrating a little book called Rapunzel unbraided with my friend Olivia (we also wrote the book)

submitted by copeland D&D fan, age 11, silver spring m
(August 25, 2008 - 9:12 am)

Dear Copeland D&D fan,

Thank you for your complements!  

I honestly can't remember when I started drawing.  I think I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold pencils and crayons.  Some of the earliest drawings I remember doing were illustrations for my journal from my first grade class.  Each student had to keep one, and write and draw in it each day. We still have some of them in the basement somewhere!  Around the same age, I started taking art lessons at a local art store, and that's when I think I realized I really enjoyed drawing and wanted to keep learning.

Dragons are fun to draw, aren't they?  I loved drawing them when I was growing up, too, and I still do!  It's great that you have an artist like your grandmother in your family, and that she's helping you to learn.  I would love to see your drawings.  You could keep checking the Cricket web site for art contests and other activities that will give you the chance to share your art.   It's wonderful that you and your friend are both writing and illustrating a book!  Keep practicing!  Practice will only make you better and better.

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(August 29, 2008 - 1:13 am)

Dear Emily,

I agree. In my opinion the best drawing of Loric's hair was in the full body image (in your sketches). The 2nd head image looked like he was a girl.


Anyway, I loved how you drew the dragons in A Practical Guide to Dragons. I wish I could draw dragons like that, but for now it's only anime faces and quick comic strip doodling. For me, it's easier to draw dragons flying rather than if they are down on the ground. But it depends what kind. Is it easier for you to draw them on the ground or in the air?

submitted by McLenn, age 29, Wisconsin
(June 25, 2008 - 3:23 pm)