Karen Reczuch - Illustrator
Karen Reczuch has been illustrating children's books for over 20 years. As a child, she was hardly ever without a pencil in her hand and remembers more than one teacher scolding her for "doodling" during class. One Christmas she was given a book on ballet and was so keen to become a dancer that she left dozens of drawings of ballerinas for her parents, hoping they would get the idea. They finally took the hint and sent her for lessons --- but it was painting classes at the local art gallery!
Karen took commercial art in high school and continued on to the illustration program at Sheridan College. After some time working in advertising, she traveled to West Africa where she illustrated educational materials for a literacy mission in Cote d'Ivoire for two years. Upon returning to Canada, she began freelancing in educational publishing and shortly afterward landed her first contract for a picture book. She also has worked as a part-time library assistant, where her favorite hour each week was the Baby Tales program --- play time with books and babies!
While her children were small, Karen worked from home. Her husband Craig made an appearance in each book, often joined by one of the children. Family vacations were frequently combined with research trips: Karen and the kids exploring the location while photographer Craig recorded details. Nowadays, Karen works in a lovely studio on the banks of the Credit River in Glen Williams, Ontario, not far from her home in Acton.
Even though history was her worst subject in high school, Karen has come to enjoy digging into the past for her research. Her picture books are notable for their accuracy and detail in depicting a time and place. Recently, Karen is spending summers working as the illustrator for an archeological dig in Turkey. "Who knew that my art would give me the opportunity to see so many exotic places? It not only takes me to work halfway around the globe, but I also travel nearly three thousand years into the past!"