Terri Einer is a U.S.-based picture book illustrator and traditional acrylic painting artist who has illustrated over 13 children's books to date.
Her works are playful and colorful, intuitive and spontaneous, bringing joy to her young readers.
Among Terri's children's books are The Yak Sisters: Thelma and Louise Save the Day (2023), Sally the Squirrel Goes to School (2022), and What Do You Do?: When the Life of a Loved One Has Come to an End (2021).
In this special Q&A, Terri shares how she became a children's book illustrator and reveals the most rewarding aspects of the illustration process.
1. Tell us about your journey of becoming an illustrator.
My art is very whimsical and for several years, folks remarked that my style would be perfect for picture book illustration. In 2019, a Wisconsin author contacted me because she was seeking to work with a local artist. She was a new author, and I was new to picture book illustration, so we made the leap together. I'm so glad that I was brave enough to delve into the unknown.
2. What do you enjoy the most about your work?
My favorite part of the process is creating the characters and bringing a bit of whimsy to the storyline. Whenever I can, I like to add a random “sidekick,” which gives the children something else to watch for. For example, for the book The Little White Buffalo (see image below), I randomly added a little mouse to some pages, and my author loved it.
3. What are some of the most memorable children's books you've worked on?
I worked on two stories about grief, The World is Mine and What Do You Do? and these two books presented a challenge. Grief is such a tender, personal subject, and I was concerned that the subject would be too dark for my whimsical style. I suggested to the author that we use a critter to tell the story rather than human characters, and I'm proud of how these two books turned out.
4. What kind of feedback have you received on your art?
I've received very positive feedback both from publishers as well as independent authors. I'm pleased that they find me easy to work with and that they're happy with how my illustrations have brought their stories to life.
An illustration from the book Little Mona Meets a Pup (2020) by S. Renée Mack and Terri Einer.
The cover of the book The World is Mine: A Message of Love and Loss (2020) by Everly Cade and Terri Einer.
An illustration from the book The Little White Buffalo (2021) by Susan Metoxen and Terri Einer.