I am so excited to introduce you to the award-winning, Ollie the Owllama illustrator extraordinaire, Ashley Teets! I am so lucky to have this talented and artsy yin to my writing yang. She was able to bring my written vision to life better than I had imagined it could be done!
First off, let’s talk about Ashley’s extensive art education. She holds a BFA in Visual Art with a minor in creative writing from Alderson-Broaddus College. Upon completing two semesters of graduate work at West Virginia University, Ashley continued her graduate study through the Simmons College satellite graduate program at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. There she studied children's literature and illustration. She also holds a MA in Arts Administration through the University of Kentucky.
Ashley has received many awards for her work, including Mom’s Choice Awards (Ollie the Owllama is a Gold Award recipient!), Indie Book and Indie Excellence Awards, an International Book Award, a USA News Best Book Award, and Creative Child Magazine Awards.
Now on to the fun facts about Ashley!
What is your favorite book (aside from Ollie the Owllama, of course!)?
My favorite book is more of a series – Junie B. Jones! I grew up reading them, and in second grade I was assigned a project that changed my life. We had to pick an author to write to, so I chose Barbara Park. Not expecting anything, I was shocked to receive a letter back from her encouraging me to always follow my dreams. I wanted to be an illustrator, here I am!
How many books have you illustrated?
I have illustrated 26 books! Each one is special and I feel as though I learn a lot with each project.
What do you like to do aside from illustrating?
Aside from drawing, I like to run and binge watch Netflix with my fiancé, Scott. I actually enjoy drawing outside of illustrating for books. Even though I draw for a living, it’s still my favorite thing to do in my free time as well.
What is one thing not many people know about you?
Not many people know that I love to watch curling on TV (ha-ha!). It’s a fascinating sport!
Ok, just for fun, what is your favorite food?
My favorite food is chocolate chip cookies/cookies and cream ice cream (ha-ha!). I believe whole-heartedly that qualifies as food! That’s one perk about being an adult; I can have ice cream for dinner if I want!