Meet Illustrator Ingrid Hess

Today's guest post is by illustrator, graphic designer, and educator Ingrid Hess, who illustrated our Doodling Dragons books and designed the covers for Foundations. This winter we had the pleasure of spending a day with Ingrid when she came to visit the LOE team at our office in Minnesota. Since we know many LOE students and teachers have loved Ingrid’s colorful illustrations, we asked her to write a blog post introducing herself and her work to you so that you can get to know her as well!

Meet illustrator Ingrid Hess:
Celebrating Children’s Authors and Illustrators Week!

Hi, I’m Ingrid Hess. I’ve been part of the Logic of English family since 2012 when I designed and illustrated Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds. Working with Logic of English is a perfect fit for me. I use design to empower elementary school teachers and their students by creating teaching tools focusing on social justice issues. In my work I address peace, economic justice, diversity, environmental issues, literacy, and education. My work empowers children to understand that they can make a difference.

Currently, I am an assistant professor of graphic design in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, but I have been part of the publishing industry since 1996. I graduated from Goshen College, a small Mennonite liberal arts college, in 1990. Later I received my MFA in graphic design with a concentration in the book arts from Indiana University, Bloomington. After earning my terminal degree, I spent 13 years in Chicago working in book design. My first job was helping with exhibition design at the Chicago Children’s Museum. I then headed the book division at Kym Abrams Design. While there I designed many of the AmericanGirl books. Finally, I worked in the textbook industry for Holt-McDougall. My academic teaching includes a visiting Assistant Professorship at The University of Notre Dame, starting a Design Program at the College @ Brockport, SUNY, and joining the faculty at UML, the fall of 2014.

My work has many influences. As a child I loved looking at kids’ books illustrated by Leo Lionni, Ezra Jack Keats, and Lois Ehlert. The simplicity in my work is heavily influenced by my Amish/Mennonite heritage; the bright colors and patterns are inspired by art from Costa Rica (my childhood home for four years). My dual passions of design and illustration work well together and help me tell stories through pictures.

I have designed, written, and illustrated children’s books for almost 20 years. I understand how critical it is that all types of children are represented in the books they read. Historically, children’s books have not done a good job depicting diversity. This problem is slowly beginning to change. I’m determined to be part of this change. I also work with museums, both nationally and internationally, to create educational exhibitions for children.

As I choose the projects I want to be involved in, I always have an eye toward making work that improves the world. I can think of no bigger social justice issue than literacy. It is so important that all our children learn to read and read well. Confidence in reading leads to so much other success in life. I’m very honored and proud to be part of the Logic of English team.

Interested in seeing more of Ingrid’s work? Visit her website!