|Susan was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her two older brothers. "We had a beagle, a station wagon, and a ranch house in suburbia it was completely normal," remarked Susan.
When asked about her early artistic development Susan responded, "I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon. I drew all the time, on anything. I got into a fair amount of trouble too. Pretty soon my parents figured it out and focused my attention on appropriate surfaces...like paper." With encouragement from family and teachers Susans interest in the arts grew. By the time she attended High School she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the arts.
Upon graduation, Susan left Ann Arbor to attend the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City. "It wasnt until college that I realized I wanted to go into childrens book illustration. Childrens books, unlike editorial or advertising illustration, offer more room for input and creative control. Childrens books are a real collaboration of equals, and I liked that." In 1990 she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration with a focus in children's books.
After college Susan worked at numerous part time jobs in advertising, design, and photography at the same time doing various illustration jobs and trying to break into children's books. Eight years after graduating from SVA, Susan was finally able to make illustration a full time career. Susan has done a great deal of work for the educational market, as well as for advertising, design, and magazines.
In 1998, Susan was contacted by Viking Children's Books, to Illustrate Dear Juno by Soyung Pak. Dear Juno was Susan's first trade picture book. It has gone on to receive numerous awards and accolades, including the Ezra Jack Keats Award. Susan has been very busy since the publication of Dear Juno. She continues to work with Viking and others, illustrating such award winning titles as One Dark Night and One Leaf Rides The Wind (both Viking).
Susan is a member of the Graphic Artist Guild (GAG) and the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). She is also the former Vice President and co-corporate founder of the Picture Book Artists Association (PBAA), a growing association of over 150 professional childrens book illustrators from around the world.
After having lived in Brooklyn, New York for almost 14 years, Susan made the move back home to Michigan. Strictly by chance she moved to...Brooklyn, Michigan.
When not working in her studio, Susan can be found visiting friends and family in her near by hometown of Ann Arbor, or renovating her 140-year-old farmhouse. Susan shares her home with her dog Angus, two cats, Connor and Hadji, and her husband, a very tall Texan named Al.