Interview with illustrator Tara Eisenhauer Ebersole

I had the honor to interview the illustrator of  Little honey’s little adventure series, Tara Eisenhauer Ebersole. Before I write about this interview, you can find why I started this project of interviewing entrepreneurs and artists, click –> previous article

In short words, I grow up in Japan and many of my friends are working hard, a lot harder than they should in a global standard. I wanted to start this interview with people who found a way to turn their passion into a living.  By reading and collecting enough stories I am hoping that it will encourage people to take a first step out of overworking doing things they don’t even enjoy!

I was very impressed and inspired with Tara’s story of becoming an illustrator, an artist, her longtime dream has been achieved after her retirement. which gives a lot of hope to never give up your dream.

Here is the interview with Tara:

1- What do you do?
 I am a retired biology professor and now am an illustrator for the Little Honey’s Little Adventures book series for children.

2- Why did you start ? 
My sister wrote the books and tried to get them published unsuccessfully nearly 20 years ago. She believed that if they were illustrated then their chances of being published would increase. I had started college as an art major and switched to biology when I realized that majoring in art may not lead to a career. But I love art – in particular sketching and in particular sketching children. So it was a good match for me. I thought of it initially as a past time but as I became more enamored with the artwork and the ensuing graphic design work it became more of a passion.

 


3- What do you think makes your books different to others?  
Our books are very gentle. I know the rage for children’s books these days is wild fantasies. But our stories are little vignettes of normal life (albeit from the 1960s!) and the lessons that we learn from our mistakes and experiences. They also optimize the sibling relationship which is found in a lot of children’s literature as being almost antagonistic. The two sisters, Little Honey and Angel, genuinely love, support, and forgive each other in each of the books.

4- What is the difference between being employed and working on your own projects?
I think self employment requires a little more self discipline than having a regular schedule and someone overseeing you. It can also be a tad lonelier than working in an office or college. But I truly feel I am living a dream. I get to be the artist I dreamed of being since I was a little girl. And I really like setting my own schedule and deadlines. I think I may be too old now to have someone looking over my shoulder and telling me what to do!

5- What is the best advise you received ? or what would have been an advise you wish you knew when you were younger?
I’m not sure I would have done anything differently. I enjoyed teaching and, with few exceptions, loved each and everyone of my students. But it was painful to give up my dream of being an artist. If I could talk to my younger self I would tell her not to worry -that she is only putting the dream on hold for practical reasons but that it will be waiting for her when she’s ready.

6- Any hobbies, Things you like to do besides work, ideal weekend for you.. etc
I love to travel. There’s a big world waiting to be explored! I love spending time at the beach. I also have three children and, at this time, two grandchildren. Nothing makes me happier than family time. I am fortunate because my family lives close and we see each other frequently. Also because my husband’s job is in politics I have become active as well. I currently chair our county’s Democratic Party. It is a volunteer job but often feels full time. Our country is, unfortunately very divided when it comes to political views and it creates a lot of work.

you can find all Tera and Racheal’s books on amazon. There are 7 books right now but is publishing more and more stories!

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