As staff illustrator, thumb I do the margin bugs, the cross bird puzzle, and the comic for every issue. A dream job! As well as an honor, a challenge, and good experience, professionally.
Lots of practice collaborating with smart, tough, and funny art directors and editors. Lots of nitty-gritty do-or-die deadline experience, too. Oh my goodness, yes.
How did I get to be the staff illustrator (bug artist) for CRICKET Magazine?
As a child I was not favored by bugs. Mosquitoes, gnats, horseflies, and deerflies all preferred my sister.
I was not the choice of honeybees, either. Once I happened upon a swarm buzz-buzz-buzzing amongst tree branches and tall grasses at the edge of a field. Despite my obvious advantages of size and strength, they did not choose me as their queen.
I’m sure the Cricket Country bugs were perfectly happy in the hands of the very talented Jean Gralley, who learned their little ways from the great Trina Schart Hyman, who created them. The Cricket folks didn’t exactly choose me, either. Sure, there was a selection process and it was long, long, long! It started with a sample-strip application.
Then another round, in color. Then there were two of us, and the Cricket folks couldn’t decide. So they put the choice (in the form of sample strips) before some kids. The kids chose me! I don’t know why, the other guy is really good… but they did. Thanks, kids!
P.S.: Ladybug reminds me that while I am employed as scribe and hired hand to the Cricket Country bugs, I do not own them, they own themselves and all rights are reserved, so there! Questions about using buggy likenesses for stickers or coffee cups or tattoos or WHATEVER should be directed to CRICKET.
Ladybug (and Cricket) thank you kindly…