Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Nicole Tadgell

What did you value/enjoy most about your Wheaton education? I valued the freedom of being able to explore in my major. While at Wheaton I studied studio art and education, hoping to become an art teacher. But I remembered how much fun it was to draw my own stories, and concluded that illustrating children’s books could be the right path for me. I knew I wanted to be an artist from a very early age. It wasn’t until after college that I realized there was something missing from my childhood: books with kids who looked like me.

Favorite memory of Wheaton? The chapel bells ringing in the early morning.

First job after graduation? I landed a job doing color separations in the art department at a t-shirt company in Worcester. It was a great learning experience, and gave me the skills I needed to get hired in the art department at Davis Advertising, and I’ve been there ever since.

Most rewarding aspect of your current job? The variety of projects I get to work on—everything from business card design to annual reports, to billboards. It’s all different and it’s all challenging.

Why children’s books? I love working on children’s books. Sometimes I pretend I’m the kid in the book, and do the things they do in the story to really get a feel for each book. I loved being a kid, and somehow I never let go of that feeling.

Current project? I  just completed artwork for another book for Albert Whitman titled In the Garden with Dr. Carver, written by Susan Grigsby.

Greatest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today? Self-doubt.

Secret to success? Perseverance!

Read more about Nicole’s work and inspiration on her blog.