Cari Meister has written more than a hundred books for children, including the "Tiny" series (Penguin) and the "Meet the Monsters" series (Stone Arch Books). She has received many awards for her books. Most recently, "Airplane Adventure" (Stone Arch Books), was named to "Parents" magazine Best Books for 2010. Cari has been fascinated by the night sky ever since she can remember. Her love of space and stars led her to Space Camp when she was growing up. Today, Cari lives in the mountains of Colorado, with her husband, four boys, two horses and one dog.
When I was four or five, I was given Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. At that age, I didn't understand the difference between a coloring book and a picture book. I enthusiastically scribbled Crayola circles all over Max and his Wild Things. Then guilt set in. I thought I had ruined the world's only copy of this wondrous book. I resolved to become an artist so I could one day replace the book I had destroyed.
Some families might discourage a kid who aspires to be an artist. But my grandfather, Donald G. Squier, was a portrait painter–his clients included General Patton and President Taft–so my family was used to dealing with eccentric artsy types. My parents and four brothers were happy to let me spend my childhood drawing monsters, aliens, and prehistoric beasts. I became the star artist of my kindergarten class, due mostly to my prowess at drawing Godzilla.
It wasn't long before I began using my drawings to tell stories. I wrote comic strips for the school newspaper and self-published comic books. In college, my contributions to the campus paper were notorious and led to my first commercial illustration job. This led to more work and, eventually, a career as a designer and illustrator.
I studied graphic design in college but found that illustration was my true calling. I just love to draw. I also enjoy the challenges of illustration: telling a story with flair and clarity and finding a style that satisfies me, my clients and an audience. I even like working within guidelines and deadlines.
Over the years, I've worked in all types of traditional media: crayons, markers, rapidograph pens, letraset screen-tones, pen and ink, brush and ink, colored pencil, watercolor and acrylics. My experience working traditionally, plus years spent working as a graphic designer, has made my transition to digital painting nearly seamless. Today I enjoy working in both traditional and digital media.
So far, my illustrations have appeared in fifteen published books for children. I hope that, somewhere, a kid has scribbled all over one of them.