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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Welcome to the home of the SCBWI Illustrator Portfolio Mentees, Class Of 2010. You can find more info by clicking on any of the links below:

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Eliza Wheeler - Gallery

Eliza Wheeler's work is an exploration of opposites: darkness and light, whimsy and profundity, detail and simplicity, each drawing an attempt to translate and capture the magical images passing rapidly through her mind. She strives to capture depth, mood and emotion with her illustrations.

Eliza was born into a family of musicians, artists, and teachers in Northwest Wisconsin. It isn't easy to overstate the impact diverse seasons and the natural world had on her creativity. Memories from childhood; canoeing lakes and rivers, picking wild blueberries, and digging through the snow with her brothers and cousins remain constant inspiration.

As many illustrators have been blessed to do, Eliza grew up drawing. Through high school and college she experimented with a lot of artistic mediums; music, painting, ceramics, design, weaving, but she always returned to drawing as her true love. After receiving a degree in art and graphic design at University of Wisconsin-Stout, she moved with her husband, another artist and inspiration to her, to Los Angeles. It was here that she discovered the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and  attended the 2009 Summer Conference where strong portfolio feedback and some of her first illustration work helped give birth to her professional career.

Through SCBWI's conferences the San Francisco-based publisher Little Pickle Press found her work and commissioned illustrations for the full-length picture book “What Does it Mean to Be Present?” written by Rana DiOrio and released in July 2010.  Read her July interview about the experience in The Blood-Red Pencil here: 

Illustrator Eliza Wheeler On "Being Present"

After receiving the SCBWI Mentorship award at the Summer 2010 conference, Eliza’s goals are to use the mentors’ feedback to add to and fine tune her portfolio and seek out a literary agent to aid in building a life-long illustration career.