Whether with puppets or literature or illustration, the heart of my career has always been bringing stories and characters to life in meaningful ways, with the hope of helping make the world a better place. And a lot more fun.
I began my professional career in costume design and creation as the milliner for the New York Shakespeare Festival, making hats, headdresses, and crowns for New York’s Shakespeare in Central Park and some Broadway shows.
I then joined Jim Henson’s MUPPETS, where I designed and built puppets in the legendary Muppet Workshop for various productions. Some favorites include The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, and especially many magical years on Sesame Street, for which I won an Emmy Award (four-time Emmy Nominee.)
Eventually becoming Creative Director for the Sesame Street Muppets, I also worked in other areas of the show, including toys, games, home video/audio, advertising/publicity, live appearances, exhibits, and children’s books — always a special passion for me. I was with the Muppets for over a decade.
Currently, I’m an art director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers and Paula Wiseman Books, where I art direct and design picture books, middle grade, and teen novels by talented creators including Tomie dePaola, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Bryan Collier, Raúl Colón, Jonathan Maberry, Taeeun Yoo, and Rosemary Wells.
I am also an author and illustrator. My young adult novel, Draw the Line, which the New York Times called “Epic,” is about finding your real-life superpowers, deciding how to use them, and where to draw the line. It explores how to change the world through art, not brutality, all with mystery, humor, intrigue, and awkward teen romance. (Oh, and a non-violent, gay, Renaissance superhero named Graphite!)
I am a Member of the Board of Advisors of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), where I speak at conferences and conduct workshops around the country. SCBWI is the only professional organization specifically for anyone writing and/or illustrating kid and teen books—a truly amazing organization.
I’m also Artistic Advisor for the Original Art, the annual exhibition of children’s book illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York — a unique and wonderful exhibit of the best in the fine art of children’s literature.