Illustrator Spotlight

Ever wanted to know more about who illustrated our books? Our illustrators are fascinating people and fabulous artists.

Mark Mille, who illustrated My Very Own Name, spent 2 years illustrating the book. My husband Allan and I (this is Maia Haag talking, the author) worked with Mark long distance as he painted the illustrations. Mark lives in Wisconsin, and we live in Minnesota. My husband Allan is a very talented graphic designer, and he and I worked together to define the personality of each animal. We decided what each animal would be doing and wearing. We defined the gender of each animal and had fun thinking about who they reminded us of as humans.

We faxed the loose drawings to Mark, and he turned them into gold. He faxed back tight drawings, and then painted each animal the “old-fashioned” way without using a computer. Each illustration is an original painting that took days to complete.

Joyce Patti, who illustrated My Very Own Fairy Tale, lives in California. She is an extremely talented illustrator who was really fun to work with. After meeting in person at the beginning of the project, we worked long distance for 2 and 1/2 years. My husband Allan and I started by researching flowers and berries. We also researched fashion design by pouring through fashion books from each decade over the last century. Allan designed the fairy costumes using features from the flowers and berries, and then he drew loose sketches of the fairies. Joyce turned these loose sketches into exquisite drawings of fairies, and then she painted each one by hand. It was amazing watching each fairy come to life!


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Israel  |  March 3, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Maia and Allan,
    I just wanted to say how I enjoyed reading both books, My Very Own Fairy Tale and My Very Own Name. My son and 3 nieces loved them just the same. I now have a 4th neice on the way, so that will be another book to order. I can’t wait to see the new “book in the making” for the boys.
    One more thing I would like to see, is maybe more animals to choose from for each letter and have the option to pick which animals you would like to have. Example: The letter L, all that was offered was the Lamb. How about a Lion?


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