Bringing the Circle C world to life
Leslie is the gifted artist responsible for creating the illustrations of Andi, her family, and her friends throughout the Circle C Beginnings and the new Circle C Stepping Stones series. Here is a link to an interview that digs deeper into Leslie’s artistic world.
Leslie was already familiar with Andrea Carter from the Circle C Adventures, so it wasn’t much of a stretch for her to imagine a younger Andi, especially if she had a model to help visualize the character. Five-year-old Kaetlyn, who was also the voice-over for the Beginnings book trailer, modeled various poses for the action scenes, like this one below for Pony Trouble.
Illustrators must submit samples of their work to the publisher for consideration. Leslie created two illustrations to show Kregel Publications what she was capable of. The folks at Kregel liked Leslie’s work and contracted her to create the covers plus ten black-and-white line drawings for each book. Sometimes, it took Leslie longer to create the illustrations than it took me to write the books. Illustrating is a lot of hard work.
Fast forward five years. With the possibility of creating more “Andi” stories, Susan hoped Leslie would be willing to illustrate six pictures per book for the new Stepping Stones series. Once again, we found a model to pose. She also ended up being on the covers of the books.
Leslie and author Susan Marlow also collaborated on paper dolls to follow Andi’s adventures in the Circle C Beginnings. Susan figured out the concept and how to make them work with Velcro dots, and Leslie drew and painted them beautifully. She has brought the characters of Andi and Riley to life and also created outfits that go along with the stories so kids can narrate and relive the adventures.
Leslie lives in Washington state, surrounded by tall trees and flower gardens. She finds inspiration for her artwork in the antics of her three lively grandchildren.