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."


Dear Thalia,

I apologize for taking so long to reply.  I've been busy working away on "The Star Shard!"  Thank you very much for your wonderful compliments on my artwork!  I've been drawing for about as long as I can remember.  I took my first formal art class when I was seven years old.  If you like to draw or paint, just keep practicing and working on what you love, and you will be on your way!  

Great job typing your message by yourself!  I didn't learn to type until I was much older.

Best wishes!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(January 26, 2009 - 2:16 pm)

Dear Emily,

I love your artwork. I think your artwork is  beautiful. I wish I could draw like you. I like drawing, too. I typed this myself.

submitted by Thalia, age 6, MA
(January 16, 2009 - 10:01 pm)

Old Cricket, when are you going to show the winners of the Star Shard art contest?Thanks



The fan art for "The Star Shard" was not really a contest, but we've posted our favorites on the Web site--and yours is there! Go to this link or look for the link to the fan art on the Look Inside page.

 Old Cricket

submitted by Olivia W., age 13, Tortall
(January 22, 2009 - 12:05 pm)

I think your artwork for "The Star Shard" is absolutely beautiful. I look forward to the pictures as much as the story itself. I am not an artist myself, but I love to look at other people's pictures. Smile

submitted by Sophie, age 11, PA
(January 26, 2009 - 5:55 pm)

Dear Sophie,

It has taken me way too long to respond to your question!  I'm so sorry to keep you waiting.  I was hard at work on the last installment of "The Star Shard".  As many of you already know, the last part is coming out in April.  I will be sad to see it go. 

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments about my work!   It's so nice to hear that you look forward to both the words and the pictures.  If I can get people excited about my artwork then I feel like I've done a good job.  Thanks!

Best wishes!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(February 13, 2009 - 4:22 pm)

I love your art! I wish I could draw  like that! I can draw pretty realistically, but not as much as I'd like to. I play viola and piano, and I'm homeschooled. So is my sister and my 4-year-old brother. I also like to make up stories. Great illustrations for "The Star Shard"!!!

submitted by Sarah H., age 11, Minnesota
(January 29, 2009 - 7:44 pm)

Dear Sarah H.,

I apologize for taking so long to write to you.  Like I mentioned to Sophie above, I was working away on the last installment of "The Star Shard."  Thanks so much for your note and your compliments about my work!  I'm so glad you're enjoying it.

It sounds like you're very creative and talented!  I think it's wonderful that you can play two instruments and that you also draw and write stories.  I used to play the piano and when I got older, the clarinet, but I have to admit that I stopped when I began to get more involved with my art.  How long have you been playing the viola and the piano?

Do your brother and sister read Cricket, too?  I hope you're looking forward to seeing what happens next in "The Star Shard"!

Best wishes,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(February 13, 2009 - 4:40 pm)

WOW your drawings are absolutely amazing! I really enjoy looking at your pictures as I am reading the story...i really don't have any major talents except for reading, so I hope you keep on drawing so I can keep on looking at your pictures!!Tongue out

submitted by Emma K., age 12, California
(February 17, 2009 - 6:58 pm)

Dear Emma,

Ack! I missed your comment the first time because it got wedged between some others. Thanks so much for your complements. I hope you enjoy the last two parts of "The Star Shard!"

All the best,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, age Almost thr, WI
(March 6, 2009 - 2:19 pm)

Hi, Emily,

It's me again.  I really love your art and it is fun to see what the next part is going to be in the story and how you are going to illustrate it.  My favorite picture is still the one when Loric and Cymbril talk through the stone, but all the art in part 8 was so great and I can't wait to see how it ends.  Have you already finished the very last painting for the last part yet?

This month Fred Durbin talked about how much he likes your art on his weblog.  Maybe you would want to read it, I think you would like it.  You can find it on his post "Jan Retro" where he talks all about his story and your artwork and on "Gallery of Wonders" where he talks about "The Star Shard" becoming a book and shows some of his fans' art.  I sent him a picture I did, but you have seen it already; it is the one where Loric is in the Groag Swamp. 

I looked up your Gallery on your website and saw more of your art work and it is so awesome!  I hope if I practice enough I can have a gallery of pictures as good as yours someday.  They are sure great! Do you know when your pictures from Part 8 will be posted on your website?

I really hope "The Star Shard" becomes a book and your pictures are all in it. 

Good luck with the end of the story,


P.S. I sent Cricket a photo of some of my friends and me dressed up like the characters from "The Star Shard" and the costumes we are wearing are just like you drew them.  You can't see it very well because I am sitting down but I am wearing a blue sash just like Loric's and I added a dagger. I hope you got it.

submitted by Ethan, age 11, PA
(February 18, 2009 - 2:24 pm)

Hi Ethan!


It's nice to hear from you again!  Thanks again for all of your compliments.  I'm happy you've been enjoying the art since the very first part of the story.


Yes, I did recently finish the artwork for the last part of "The Star Shard."  It's sad to think that it will be over soon, and it feels a little strange that I'm not still exploring the world of Loric and Cymbril with my paintbrush and pencil (although I can still enjoy it through Mr. Durbin's words and my imagination.)  There is a little something else that I'm finishing up that is "Star Shard" related, though, and it should appear on this web site sometime soon.


Thanks for letting me know about Mr. Durbin's comments on his blog.  I've been trying to keep up with all of his posts here and on his blog, and he is always too kind with his complements on my work!  I'm very flattered to know that he's so pleased with the work I've done for his story.  It means a lot to be getting it right, at least most of the time!  I really hope, like probably everyone else posting here, that he'll be able to get "The Star Shard" published in book form soon.


Thanks for visiting my web site!  I try to keep it updated with new work whenever I can, but there's still a lot of "Star Shard" stuff that I need to add.  I especially hope to get the September cover up soon, and I need to add Part 8 as well as a few other images from earlier in the story.  It looks like I have a lot of catching up to do!


And finally, I'm most excited to tell you that yes, I got your picture!  That was so cool, and I loved the costumes!  My art director forwarded it to me after receiving it at the Cricket office.  I really loved seeing how much everyone in your fan club is enjoying "The Star Shard."  When I got that picture it made my day, and I bet Mr. Durbin felt the same way.   We author and artist types love to know our work is making an impact in the lives of others!  If I can make just one person happy when they look at my pictures, then all the hard work was worth it.


Take care,

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(February 23, 2009 - 12:29 pm)

Dear Emily,

I can't wait to see the suprise you are working on for the Cricket site!  I will keep checking.  Where will it show up?  I also can't wait to see your artwork for the last part of the story; I am sad it is ending; too.  But I can't wait to find out what happens.

When do you think you will put part 8 illustrations on your site?  I tried to click on Brigit's horse but it wouldn't click open.  I see it small but it isn't working.  I loved that picture of them all on their horses.  I have a friend who reads "The Star Shard" online and is dieing to see the rest of the art.  I just read through all the parts of the story again and I remembered the picture of Loric on the front of the Rake from the Table of Contents page.  That is such a great picture!

I'm glad you got my picture of the Fan Club,




submitted by Ethan, age 11, PA
(February 24, 2009 - 5:20 pm)

Hi Ethan,

Sorry it has taken so long to write back.  I always try to check the site at least a couple times a week, but sometimes my busy schedule gets in the way.  I hope you find this message up here!

The special "Star Shard" feature I did will be probably be appearing on the web site sometime soon.  I bet it will be easy to find once it's up.

You'll be happy to hear that I have finally updated the illustrations for Part 8 on my web site!  Thanks for the heads up about the image of Bridget and the riders.  I'm making some adjustments on it to match it to the original art, and I forgot that I put up the thumbnail before I finished the link.  I also appreciate your complements on the Table of Contents illustration! I was really happy with how that turned out, and am hoping to add that soon, too.  

I hope that you have received your March issue of Cricket by now.  What a cool cover!  I'm sure you'll love the final two parts of Mr. Durbin's story.

Have a good weekend!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(March 6, 2009 - 2:21 pm)

Dear Emily,

It's me, Aria.  I sent you my picture of the cats from the Thunder Rake.  I loved your picture of the cats when they are cuddling with Cymbril on the rail. I am going to draw a picture of the hound next.  I hope you like my cats.

Love, Aria

submitted by Aria A, age 4, PA
(February 19, 2009 - 3:05 pm)

Dear Aria,

Thanks for writing in again!  I'm so glad you sent in your picture of the cats!  I was looking forward to seeing it.  It turned out great!  I love the way you can tell through their expressions that both cats have different personalities. I especially like the way you colored Miwa.  She looks so soft!

I can't wait to see your drawing of Bale the hound!  Are animals your favorite thing to draw?  They're one of my favorites, too.  

Oh, guess what?  Remember our grumpy guinea pig Cedric?  We finally found him a friend that he likes and they get along great together!  His new friend's name is Milo, and we adopted him through the guinea pig rescue we volunteer with.  

Best wishes to you!

submitted by Emily Fiegenschuh, WI
(February 23, 2009 - 12:41 pm)