Olivia Cole, Illustrator of The Adventures of Avery Ann: Space
“Raised in Portland, I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil. After finishing my fine arts degree at Portland State, I couldn’t wait to start to pursue one of my dreams-to illustrate children’s books! While I’m not drawing, I’m usually reading, at the gym, or relaxing with my cat.”
Justin Smelser, Lead Illustrator of The Adventures of Avery Ann
“I was born in Wyoming and spent most of my childhood living on working ranches throughout the western states. For the last 20 years I have called Portland, OR home. The Pacific Northwest is the perfect place to live for an avid outdoorsman like me who enjoys golfing, snowboarding, hiking, and biking. I have always had a passion for art and I am interested in many different styles and mediums. Although I have attended some college, most of my education has been through life experiences and adventures. I am looking forward to continuing my schooling in the arts as I am also changing my career path.
It has been an incredible thrill to work on this book and be a part of this creative endeavor. This project has enabled me to follow a dream and I thank Leah for this opportunity.”
Perrine Solara, Creative Consultant and Assistant Illustrator of The Adventures of Avery Ann
“I grew up in Oregon, spending most of my time outdoors riding and showing my two Arabian horses and spending time with my dog Keeta, a Bouvier des Flandres. In high school art class I explored my artistic abilities by drawing and painting my favorite subject- horses. I later received a BS in Animal Science from Oregon State University.
After college, I spent several years in the corporate world, the majority of it as a pharmaceutical sales representative. With mixed emotions I started off in a new direction a few years ago and became a Certified Yoga Instructor and Reiki Master. I am so happy I took that scary first step towards a career change. Now I am a facilitative healer and on a path that helps both people and animals achieve physical, emotional, and energetic balance. I have also found a renewed interest in artistic endeavors, something that had been dormant for almost 20 years.
It has been an honor to be part of this book project in so many ways, and I have learned a tremendous amount. I hope the story and drawings inspire children and adults to follow their inner adventurer and to never stop dreaming!”