"The Storyteller"

My visual studies professor at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design always referred to me as the "story teller."

Even the most mundane assignments, such as sketching drapery, I would try to put in the context of some scene. I have always strived to involve some element of narrative and fantasy as well as technical accuracy in my illustrations. And this is what many of the great past and present paleo-artists do so well.

Like many children, my fascination with dinosaurs, insects, and all critters living or dead was limitless, and the urge to pick up a pencil and draw them was a natural extension of this obsession.

I currently own forty acres of forest and swamps in northern Wisconsin that my father bought when I was a boy. This land has been a great teacher to me for over 20 years now. When I am not raising chickens, chopping wood or pulling porcupine quills out of my dog's nose, I am out quietly walking and sketching whatever subject catches my attention.

While drawing landscape studies I often found that a Tyrannosaur or a Mastodon would wander into the composition, and it was so right. Much more interesting than a deer, and just as real in my mind's eye.

The decision to become a natural history illustrator and to not go into the field of forestry, as I had originally began in 1989, was not an easy one. Illustration seemed less tangible as a career and much more risky to remain financially stable. But I had to follow my heart, and the merging of my interests in nature and art finally brought me to the realization of who I am and of my clarity of purpose.

Despite the incredibly hard work and discipline of being your own boss and sometimes feeling very isolated, the journey thus far has been very rewarding. I have met many wonderful people that have been very supportive and helpful, and to them I would like to say thank you for making this dream possible.

Kelly Taylor
Wisconsin