Sierra is a freelance illustrator based in Pittsburgh, PA.
She has a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But, after a decade of producing TV newscasts throughout NC and Pittsburgh, Sierra decided to retire from the news and focus on her other passion- drawing. She graduated summa cum laude from the Community College of Allegheny County with an Associate of Arts Degree and has been honing her unique style of children's illustrations ever since.
"My obsessive tendencies emerge when I'm planning my illustrations," Sierra confesses. "I go through several rough drafts before deciding on the final look, and believe it or not, each of my illustrations goes through an "ugly phase." But you have to trust the process!"
With Sierra, that means combining observation with imagination. She prefers to take her own reference photos when possible to help direct her in how the characters' bodies should be positioned, but these are just guidelines.
"I enjoy drawing cartoons because you can exaggerate the characters' body shapes, poses and expressions in creative ways that are memorable for little readers. I want children of all reading levels to be able to understand the story through the illustrations, even if they can't read the text yet.
"My young daughters are a major influence on my design choices. I study their reactions to certain illustrations- what they're drawn to, and which details are most memorable to them- and I try to incorporate those into my own designs. From fabrics to animal fur and wood floors, I find those extra details add another fun layer of dimension to my work."
Keep up to date with Sierra's latest work on her Facebook and Instagram pages.