I'm Stephanie Lynne Donelson, a designer and illustrator from southern Louisiana, residing in Michigan. For many wonderful years I worked in the children's product industry, designing such products as room decor, children's bedding, and layette. Products I worked on could be found in stores such as Buy Buy Baby, Target, Walmart, Meijers, Babies R Us, and many more.
So now, let me give you a little of my back story. It is impossible for me to imagine a time when art and color were not my thing. I'm certain I was drawing before crayons were placed in my hands. In grade school I illustrated my class work and home work assignments. It seemed like the natural thing to do. By the second grade I began winning school art contests. I was a shy kid who lacked confidence, so this was big for me. Drawing became my thing. Creating made me curious…I became an experimenter with colors, pastels, paints, yarns, fabrics, clay, and whatever else I could get my hands on. I became an explorer of real and imaginary worlds, and a decoder of my own thoughts. I have been saved by the creative drive within me more times and in more ways than I have time to tell you, but I will tell you that I am so grateful for the art in me.
I began my formal study emphasizing in drawing & painting. However, before finishing this degree I took a bit of a break and worked as a cake decorator/baker. When I returned to finish my education I changed my emphasis to graphic design. I graduated from university with a BFA, emphasis Graphic Design in 2004, and accepted a position as designer/illustrator with Hamco, a manufacturer of layette, baby bibs, and associated products. I spent the next couple of years honing my craft, and learning the children's product industry. In 2007 I was promoted to Product Development Associate with Hamco's sister company, Crown Crafts, Inc. As a product designer for Crown Crafts, I designed baby and children's bedding and bedding related products, such as stuffed animals, pillows, sculptured lamps, mobiles, etc. I worked in this capacity for the next 9+ years until I married and moved to Michigan.
Moving towards the dream. Since moving to Michigan I have been building up my skills and portfolio towards my life long dream of creating my own art and illustrating picture books. I have a penchant for bright, playful designs, and fun loving, expressive characters. Maintaining a sense of wonder in my work is very important to me. I often incorporate the yellow bird seen above (That's me painting with a bird on my head at age 4!), into my work and self-portraits as a reminder of the girl I came from. Thankfully every day I'm learning, but many of the best things I've learned, I learned when I was that young girl. I will always strive to be the person she would want me to be. Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my work and learn a bit about me. To keep up with what I'm up to and find more of my work check out my social media!