Represented by: Portfolio Solutions
Suite 8, Billings Plaza
2419 Route 82
PO Box 74
Billings, NY 12510-0074
What you see in my artwork is my life in a bustling house with kids running in and out all the time. My son's bedroom, my neighbor's front porch, and the playground down the street all find their way into my pictures. The fun part is distilling it into art.
When I sit down to create my artwork I sometimes do it with paint and pencils on paper, in much the same way you would do if you were going to paint a picture. Sometimes, though, I do my illustrations with pieces of cut paper and other materials mounted on different heights of foam-core to make them dimensional. I like to use all sorts of textures and patterns. If you look closely at my books you'll see cinnamon doughnuts made out of sand paper, clothing cut from dollhouse wall-paper, skies made out of tissue paper, as well as fabric and wood used here and there. I find interesting patterns on junk mail, on bags that stores put my purchases in, and in many other places.
After the artwork is done I photograph it. I light it so that the shadows are distinct, because that is what preserves the 3-dimensional appearance. Then I photograph it with a 4x5 camera. What I send to the publisher is a 4x5 transparency which looks like a large slide without a cardboard border. The publisher prints the book from that rather than from the original artwork.
For an illustrator, research is very important. You need to know what kinds of clothes kids are wearing. You need to represent accurately everything in the picture even if it isn't in a strictly realistic style. I can usually find my information all around me because my books tend to take place in the present. Sometimes, though, I need to look further. For What's Out There? I needed to know what was the color of the parachute on the Viking Lander that went to Mars. Of course there are no photographs of this event. I called all around the country, even to NASA in Houston. I finally found someone at the Langley Research Center in Virginia who could help me. When she called me back she had spoken with the person who had packed the parachute himself!
I studied illustration and design at Washington University in St. Louis. Before I started illustrating books I designed department store ads, I illustrated posters and magazine covers, and painted greeting cards for Hallmark. Now I work from my home in a neighborhood filled with kids in Washington, DC where I live with my husband, two sons, one cat, lots of fish and a garden filled with flowers.
A Box Can Be Many Things
by Dana Meachen Rau, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Children's Press (Rookie Reader), l997, 32 pp., 15.00 & 4.95
This is the Pumpkin
by Abby Levine, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Albert Whitman & Co., 1997, 24 pp., $13.95
Mystery of the Tooth Gremlin
by Bonnie Graves, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Hyperion (2nd/3rd Grade Chapters), 1997, 64pp., $3.95
by Gail Herman and illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Grosset & Dunlap (All Aboard Reading, Level 2), 1996, 48 pp., 13.99; $3.95
What's Out There?
by Lynn Wilson, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Grosset & Dunlap, 1993, 32 pp., $2.25
The Way We Do It in Japan
by Geneva Cobb Lijima, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Albert Whitman & Co., 2001, $14.95
The Itsy Bitsy Spider
Harper Festival, 2001, $6.95
by Shelia Bruce, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Kane Press, 2001, $4.95
This Little Reindeer
Harper Festival, 2001, $7.95
Clean Sweep Campers
by Lucille Recht Penner, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Kane Press, 2000
Slip, Slide, Skate
by Gail Herman, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Scholastic, 2000, $3.99.
by Barbara Derubertis, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Kane Press, 2000, $4.95
This is a Turkey
by Abby Levine, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Albert Whitman & Co., 1999, $14.95
Cowboys (Sticker Stories)
by Lynn Wilson, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Grosset & Dunlap, 1999, $4.99
Meet the Sweethearts (Sticker Stories)
by Lynn Wilson, illustrated by Paige Billin-Frye, Grosset & Dunlap, 1997, $4.99
For information about school visits, see my Speakers Bureau page.