Watercolor illusration showing Laura Ferraro Close at her drawing table as her dog sits nearby.

When I was little, I wanted to be a nurse.

But then I had my tonsils removed and realized medicine wasn't for me.

 

Luckily, I also loved to draw.

 

Photograph of children's book illustrator Laura Ferraro CloseStarting in first grade, I began filling sketchbook after sketchbook with animal characters. Soon my classmates were requesting that I decorate the covers of their notebooks with my drawings (mostly turtles and frogs). It was great fun and here I am many years later still making kids smile with my artwork.

With a degree in illustration from Syracuse University, I worked for several years as a greeting card artist at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Eventually I returned to my home state of Massachusetts to pursue my dream of being a children's book illustrator. I now live outside of Boston with my husband, two sons and our sweet dog.

Over the years I've illustrated more than 20 books for children, one of which, Magic Places, has sold over 260,000 copies. There have been some unusual projects too, like illustrating beach towels, pajamas and even a china pattern for Macy's department store.

All in all, not too bad for a backup plan.

Images copyright 2016 by Laura Ferraro Close.

All rights reserved.