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Ingrid Hess: The Illustrator Behind the Doodling Dragons Series and Foundations Curriculum

Ingrid Hess: The Illustrator Behind the Doodling Dragons Series and Foundations Curriculum

Hi, I’m Ingrid Hess. I’ve collaborated with the Logic of English family since 2012, when I designed and illustrated Doodling Dragons: An ABC Book of Sounds!

As an artist, I use design to empower elementary school teachers and their students by creating teaching tools focusing on social justice issues such as peace, economic justice, diversity, environmental issues, education, and... literacy

It is so important that all our children learn to read and read well. Confidence in reading leads to so much other success in life. This is one of the reasons I believe working with Logic of English is a perfect fit for me. 

Logic of English seeks to empower children to become strong readers, writers, and spellers. I’m very honored and proud to partner with the Logic of English team.

Logic of English team members visiting with Ingrid Hess, illustrator of the Foundations and Doodling Dragons series

Childhood: A Source of Inspiration

Illustration of three ducks driving a bus

As a child, I loved looking at kids’ books illustrated by Leo Lionni, Ezra Jack Keats, and Lois Ehlert. The simplicity in my work is heavily influenced by my Amish/Mennonite heritage, and the bright colors and patterns are inspired by art from Costa Rica (my childhood home for four years). 

My dual passions of design and illustration work well together and also help me tell stories through pictures and drawings. 

Work: A Venue to Empower Children

I understand how critical it is that all types of children are represented in the books they read. Historically, children’s books have not done a good job depicting diversity. This problem is slowly beginning to change. I’m determined to be part of this change. 

Interior spread from the new book, "How Your Brain Learns to Read", written by Denise Eide and illustrated by Ingrid Hess

As I choose the projects I want to be involved in, I always have an eye toward doing work that improves the world. 

Through my work, I want to empower children to understand that they can make a difference. 

A Career as an Illustrator

Headshot of illustrator, Ingrid Hess.
I have designed, written, and illustrated children’s books for almost 20 years, and I have been part of the publishing industry since 1996. I also work with national and international museums to create educational exhibitions for children. 

Currently, I am an associate professor of graphic design in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML).


An Overview of the Past

Illustration of a butterfly, a familiar icon from within the Foundations series

I graduated from Goshen College, a small Mennonite liberal arts college, in 1990. Later I received my MFA in graphic design with a concentration in the book arts from Indiana University Bloomington. 

After earning my terminal degree, I spent 13 years in Chicago working in book design. My first job was helping with exhibition design at the Chicago Children’s Museum. 

After my endeavor at the Chicago Children’s Museum, I headed the book division at Kym Abrams Design, and while there, I designed many of the American Girl books.

I also worked in the textbook industry for Holt-McDougall. My academic teaching includes a Visiting Assistant Professorship at the University of Notre Dame; starting a Design Program at the College at Brockport, SUNY; and joining the faculty at UML in the fall of 2014. 

A Sneak Peak of the Future

If you want to see more of Ingrid’s work and what the future holds for her, visit her website!

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