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I attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan, and then went as a fine arts major to the State University of New York at Buffalo. I received a well-rounded art training, but never formally studied illustration. My attempts at illustration were done privately -- even secretly -- because I sensed that my art professors would not approve. After all, it was considered a negative criticism to be told a painting "looked like an illustration." I taught myself by trying different styles, by looking at illustrated books, and by following my instincts. Eventually, I had enough work to put together a portfolio, and enough confidence to present it to publishers.
The result of this effort was a book called Six Little Ducks, which, to my great joy, was eventually published and well received -- it was named a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book
Today, many books later, I try to keep the same happy spirit alive by varying my painting technique, and doing my best to set and meet new challenges with each new book.
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