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Judy Moffatt, Children's Book Illustrator

MAY 1, 2009
Judy Moffatt in her studio in Medway, MA
Judy Moffatt is an established children's book illustrator from the Boston-area.
"When I was in high school my Dad would bring home magazines for the printing industry. There was always an ad for Strathmore papers with a 3-d cut paper illustration by Leo Monahan, I'd never seen anything like it.
Although I didn't think to illustrate in cut paper for another decade I saved all those advertisements. (When I won a bronze award at the 3 Dimensional awards show, I was thrilled to actually meet Leo Monahan)."

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I think I initially met Judy at a monthly gathering of established and aspiring children’s book illustrators back in the late 1980’s – not long after I first moved to Boston. We just kind of clicked. Judy’s personal warmth and matter-of-fact attachment to her craft and her sense of humor are what hooked me. I was definitely in the aspiring category; Judy more in the established column with many different types of children’s markets securely in her repertoire: children’s editorial, book and textbook, and promotional products to name a few. At the time she was working primarily in watercolor. It was while she was an illustration student at the Art Institute of Boston that she was introduced to the brightly colorful and humorous and well-designed work of Tomie dePaulo.
Somewhere in the 90’s she returned to a love of making illustrations out of cut-paper. Her father had been in the printing trade and she vividly remembers the paper samples and paper promotions from the various paper suppliers. In particular, the artwork of Leo Monahan inspired Judy to work in cut paper. Also, her love of craft and making craft things made cutting paper a natural sympathetic fit. It was the return to a childhood love. We should all be so lucky!
Judy now has completed over fifty books for a wide variety of publishers and segments of the children’s market in the U.S. She sells her originals to eager collectors and now, with the attenuation of the children’s market in general, she has turned increasingly to marketing and licensing original spin offs of her published work. Another fascinating development is how, with her husband, Bill Hoffman, they have evolved a digital style that mimics the cut paper accurately. This development in her studio has brought Judy back to publishing in a more self-directed way.
An as-yet untitled book project is Judy’s new foray into self-publishing a licensable character based on her beloved Lula-belle, an Airedale Terrier. Economic uncertainties and turmoil in the established children’s publishing world have inspired her to hold her properties closer and nurture their development in her own way.
Judy is a good friend and an inspiring professional illustrator. She follows her heart with her chosen loves and strengths in children’s books. She rolls with the changing times and seeks new ways to get her work into the hands of children.
from "Too Many Rabbit and Other Finger Plays" Scholastic 1995
"While doing presentations at schools and libraries I discovered I really loved teaching. I started teaching children's book illustration for RISD's certificate program and weekend workshops. I also do residence programs at schools and run small paper cutting classes out of my studio. I find anything I know I can't wait to teach it. After learning how to blog I got the computer bug (something I never could have foreseen). From there I opened a store on Etsy and now I'm excited about the many ways I can get connected."
from "ABC slide" Dutton Children's Books 1998