What inspired you to write and illustrate the Hello, World! series?
Hello, World! is an early learning series born out of a curiosity for learning and sharing simple concepts about science and nature. Seeing many colorless, visually dull educational books growing up and then becoming a mom myself, I wondered why there wasn't more vivid, fun art when it comes to education. What better way to learn than through images that draw you in and color that grabs your attention making it fun to flip the page!
This was my intent for Hello, World!. I wanted my colorful, cheerful art to offer an exciting addition to learning. And, with over one million books sold, I think it has worked!
Can you tell us more about why creative learning is so important to you?
I've always liked to paint and make things with my hands, and I am on a quest to be a lifelong learner. But, early on it became obvious I would learn in a different way. Preschool led to the discovery that I am dyslexic. Kindergarten confirmed it! Reading has been and will always be a challenge for me, so I never imagined I could be an author. It's wonderful when you surprise yourself!
How did you get started as a professional artist?
Growing up I leaned into the art skills that came so naturally to me, and I was lucky to have parents that nurtured my talent. After high school, it was straight to art school where I received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. I started my own studio in 2004, after gaining some experience as a print stylist for Gap Inc. in N.Y.C., then moved to the midwest to work as an illustrator for Hallmark Cards.
What would you say is your primary passion as an artist?
Creating fun, playful and engaging art is what I've designed my life around. I hope you and your kiddos enjoy my Hello, World! collaboration with Jaq Jaq Bird. Imagination and learning is a porthole to a brighter future and so many exciting surprises!
Thank you so much, Jill!
Jill lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband, Antonio, and their son. Since starting her own studio in 2004, she has worked on a wide array of products including kids and baby bedding, fabric and scrapbooking collections, puzzles, games, greeting cards and books.
Follow along with Jill McDonald on Instagram and continue to admire her colorful, playful designs!