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Kathy Shoemaker

My mother says that I was born
on the coldest January day in Vancouver
history. Maybe that's why I prefer cold and snowy
weather to hot. When I was seven years old my family moved
to Southern California. We arrived on a very warm and sunny day in
January. I was amazed to see palm trees growing everywhere. As a child I loved to draw, to read and especially to sit and draw while my mother or one of my teachers read or told stories to me.
To this day I often listen to books on tape or radio as I work on illustrations.

Except for a brief time in my
teens when I wanted to become a doctor,
I always wanted to illustrate and write books. My sister
and I were given lots of time and interesting materials to work with
when we were children. Our mother and father mad our home resourceful
and creative as they loved art. As well as making their own furniture, they created
a garden, cooked wonderful meal, played the piano, guitar and mandolin. Both my sister
and I turned our childhood playng with pen, paper, paint and cloth into our lifetime work. After
graduating from University in California I worked for a large school district as a learning
materials designer and art consultant. My first illustrated book was about children
writing and illustrating their own books - since I have illustrated 40 books,
hundred of pages of textbooks, cards and posters.


Does it take illustrate a book?

"I would be happy to sit and paint and draw all day everyday but of course there are other things one has to do. If I have a tight schedule for a project I might leave to work 12-14 hours a day. I prefer to paint about 6-8 hours to give my head and eyes a rest and come back with a refreshed view."

Is it hard to do?

Sometimes it is hard to balance my work with my responsibilities as a mother and as an active community person, so that the quality of the work is not lost or unfocussed.

Who has inspired you?

There are too many people to name who have inspired me in different ways. Barbara Cooney
has always has been my favourite illustrator and especially like to look to her as an
example of a woman who is actively working in her eighties. I plan to work
as long as I live, and I believe that might be 100 plus. My daugther
inspires me because she sees life, colour, shaped in new ways. I am a
optomist. I believe we can solve problems in the world, maybe not as quickly
as would be good, but in time.

About Kathy

She has broad experience as an art teacher, curriculum specialist, filmmaker, and as an exhibit/display/event designer. Her published works include books, filmstrips, greeting cards, poster, calendars, magazine illustrations and articles, and hundreds of educational illustrations and educational workshop in-service materials. Her paintings, prints, illustrations and multimedia creations are in public and private collections around the world. She has been active throughout North America as a speaker and consultant. For the past six years she has taught illustration at local colleges. She recently completed a Master Degree in Childrenís Literature at the University of British Columbia. Currently she is working on a doctorate in the department of Language and Literacy at UBC.Her doctoral research is on the social semiotic analysis of how words and pictures work together in narrative picturebooks. As well she serves on a number of non-profit boards and committees in Vancouver.

Published works

2006 Baby Oh by Jane Cobb, Black Sheep Books

2004 A Telling Time by Irene N. Watts, Tradewind Books

2002 My Animal Friends by R. David Stephens, Tradewind Books

2001 Letís Talk about Touching by Jan Sippel, Vancouver School Board

1999 Right Choices by Kenneth Taylor, Tyndale House

1999 VanCity Calendar on Places of Refuge

1998 Words and Thoughts to Help You Grow by Kenneth Taylor, Tyndale House

1997 Pre-school Program, Augsburg Fortress Publishers

1995 Los Ninos Alfabeticos by Lourdes Ayala, Charlesbridge

1989 Oh Brother, Oh Sister by Patricia McKissack, Millikan 1988 Augsburg Fortress Publishers

1987 Wise Words for Little People by Kenneth Taylor, Tyndale House

1987 I Love Spring by Steven Kroll, Holiday House

1987 Jennyís Neighbours by Richard Thompson, Annick Press

1987 All Paths Lead to Bethlehem by Patricia McKissack, Augsburg Fortress Publishers 1987

1986 Illustrations for Joy, Harper & Row

1986 International Red Cross Cookbook, The Red Cross

1985 Giant Steps for Little People by Kenneth Taylor, Tyndale House

1984 Grandfather Clock and Other Finger Plays by Sharon Lee, Winston Press

1984 The Merry-Go-Round by Oretta Leigh, Holiday House 1983 Big Thoughts for Little People by Kenneth Taylor, Tyndale House (sold 250,000 in first five months)

1982 The Mouse and the Mill and the Bottle Babies by Alma S. Coon, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation ( in 14th printing)

1980 *Creative Classroom written and illustrated by K. Shoemaker, Winston Press

1980 *Children Go Where I Send Thee, Winston Press 1979 The Boyhood of Pope John by Anne McGravie, Winston Press

1979 Clareís Choice by Melissa Flannery, Winston Press

1979 The Three Hermits by Leo Tolstoi, Franciscan Communications Center

1978 Behold This Child (set of 4 filmstrips) Franciscan Communications Center

1978 Tone Bells for Classroom Learning by Kathryn Taylor

1978 *Creative Christmas written and illustrated by K. Shoemaker, Winston Press

1978 The Man Who Learned about Jesus by Delores Ready Winston Press

1977 Brother Francis by Jan Johnson, Winston Press

1975 Visual Literacy-set of four books complied by Lois Williams, ESEA Title 1

1974 Itís Whale Time at Whalerís Village by Cymbre Ferguson, Whalers Village Museum

1973 *Listen to the Children(Children Writing & Illustrating Their Own Books with Virginia Gaston,


2006 Third place in picturebooks for the Chocolate Lily Award

2004 My Animal Friends selected and given to every three year old in B.C. for the Ready, Set, Learn Program 1993

Louie Award Nominee for Greeting Card Design

Award of Merit, Gold Medallion Book Awards for Giant Steps for Little People

1985 First Place, Vancouver Centennial Graphics Poster Competition

100 Children Celebrate 100 Years of Children in Vancouver 1984 Honor Book

1968 Exhibit Design chosen and installed at the World Council of Churches, Uppsala, Sweden.

1965 Honorable Mention for the design of the Bergen Opera House, co-designed with architect, Ian

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