Friday, January 30, 2015

Interview with Sheila Kelly Welch

Sheila and Roo. Sheila is the non-furry one.
I have Writer and Illustrator Sheila Kelly Welch on my blog today. Sheila is a great animal lover and this certainly shows up in her work. The personality that the animals have in all her drawings are fantastic. When you can look at a picture and guess what a person or animal is thinking, then you know the artist is excellent. Look at Sheila's illustrations and see if you can't guess what the characters are thinking!

Sheila has had many books published that she's both written and illustrated. She has also added grace to the pages of many other author's books by illustrating their words. Two of Sheila's most recent books are: "Mess Up Molly" published by MeeGenius in 2013 and "Big Cat and Kitten" also published by MeeGenius in 2014. Be sure to check them out, but after you read the interview!


Dani: Which is better: Writing or drawing?

Sheila: Okay, define “better.” If “better” means “more fun,” I’d choose drawing. If “better” means “which I am better at doing,” I think it would be a tie. Although my first published work was a short story, if I were forced to make a choice, I would describe myself as an artist.

"Mess Up Molly" cover
published by MeeGenius in 2013

Dani: Are wishes actually horses?

Sheila: Well, I guess when your wishes are for a horse (or horses) then wishes are horses–especially if those wishes come true.

The first horse I knew was a wished-for, old strawberry roan named Tony that was given to my sister by friends of our family. She had gone to the county fair with them and thought she would win a pony that was being given away. When her wish didn’t come true, the friends felt badly and gave her Tony. My sister wrote entertaining stories called “Tony Tales” about his early life as a colt living in the Wild West.

Dani: Finish the following thoughts:

Interior illustration from "Mess Up Molly"
1. Horses are...

. . . and were a part of my life. After my sister was given Tony, my brother got his own horse named Flash. As Flash and I grew older, he became my hand-me-down horse. Later, my husband and I owned other horses, and last year, I helped our adult daughter adopt a mustang named Sage. Unlike Tony, whose tales were totally fiction, Sage actually did live her first year with a herd of wild horses roaming the range in Nevada.

And, of course, horses and other animals are often featured in my stories and books.

2. My first memory...

I can’t be sure which of these would be my first memory, so I’ll give a sampling of several early recollections.

Sheila Kelly Welch at 3 leaning on a walk-behind tractor
3. I recall . . .

. . . petting my cat Nicka who was a blue (gray) Persian with a sweet disposition who purred so loudly and persistently, he kept me awake at night.

. . . walking in my brother’s foot prints as he plowed the ground with a walk-behind tractor and plow. My brother is ten years older than I, so I had to jump to make each step.

. . . listening as my father read the newspaper “funnies” to me on the fuzzy chair in the corner by the window.

4. I still play...

. . . make believe. Isn’t that what writing fiction is all about?

Illustration from "Big Cat and Kitten"
published by MeeGenius in 2014
Dani: What's special about your work?

Sheila: My work – both writing and art – is intended for a wide audience. I’ve written stories for pre-school through adult readers. My art work ranges from illustrations for picture books to paintings that hang on living room walls.

Dani: What is your ultimate goal in life?

Sheila: World peace. And if I can’t manage to accomplish that . . . well, I’d like to be able to draw and communicate until my last minutes of life.


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  1. Thanks so much, Dani. Your questions were fun to answer.

  2. Great recollections and a look into the mind of a great author and illustrator. I've been familiar with Sheila's work for many years. Thanks for the great interview!

  3. nice interview mom!!!

  4. Great interview, Aunt Sheila! Love the photo of you with the tractor.

  5. I really enjoyed this interview! And Flash was the name of a horse in a children's story I once wrote :).

  6. Thanks for all the kind comments!