“Be True To Your Work, And Your Work Will Be True To You.”
- Charles Pratt
Holly Stone-Barker heard this motto for the first time during her freshman year at Pratt Institute. This motto still resonates with her today. Pratt helped nurture the style that she has developed through the years.
Holly graduated from Pratt Institute with a B.F.A. in Communication Design and works as a freelance illustrator. Holly currently has three published picture books with two more forthcoming in 2013. Each illustration is uniquely different, but they all have the same distinct style and medium. Holly uses textured and hand-painted paper to create her designs. Whimsical illustrations bring words to life through the thoughtful use of color, texture, and design. In conjunction with illustrating, Holly has been an active member on the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Artist Roster. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of art with children. In return, the children give her a fresh and innovative perspective.
Holly lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband and two children.
Art Influences in Holly’s Childhood
Throughout her childhood, Holly Stone-Barker immersed herself in the arts: visual arts, dance, music, and theatre. Her parents encouraged her love of the arts and this translated into the development of her artistic abilities as an illustrator.
When Holly was 8 years old, she entered a contest for aspiring artists and writers. She wrote and illustrated a story that won the grand prize – meeting Peggy Parish, the author of the Amelia Bedelia books! Meeting Peggy Parish was a special moment in Holly’s young life and it was that meeting that inspired Holly to pursue writing and illustrating children’s books.
When Holly was 10 years old, she moved with her parents to Saudi Arabia for six years. During those years in the Middle East, she traveled extensively, learning about different cultures and seeing firsthand the way other people live. Those wonderful experiences created priceless memories, memories which are deeply imbedded and influence her art. Holly’s countless encounters with Islamic art, full of rich color and intricate patterns, can be seen in her cut paper and collage style of art.
In high school, Holly went on a trip to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and saw the work of Henri Matisse. She was instantly smitten with his design, his use of color, and his work in cut paper. The exhibit inspired Holly to create her own pictures in this “new” method.