About The Artist

Shelly Hawley-Yan

Hi! Thanks for visiting this web site, and for dropping in to find out more about me. That really is me in the picture - however, I am just a few decades older now!

Just to give you my biography in brief; I have always had an interest in art and a special interest in nature. (I was the kid who brought home toads, injured birds, stray puppies - you name it!) Although I have no formal artistic training, I continued to practice my art part-time, while obtaining an honors degree in Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, and a Master Herbalist diploma from Wild Rose College, in Calgary, Alberta.

After graduating from Waterloo, I joined the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto, where I worked for about 7 years as a Forensic Biologist. After my amazing children were born I decided to pursue my interest in art more avidly. I also work for the Animal Alliance of Canada, rescuing dogs and cats from pounds that would otherwise send them to research labs. Because of this, we often have temporary "creature visitors" being fostered in our house. The kids love it but I'm not so sure about Rich! I have also taught at the Botanic Institute, an herbal school in Guelph, Ontario, and occasionally give lectures on herbs and herbalism.

I feel that my scientific background enables me to look more critically at my illustrations, and gives them greater scientific accuracy and believability. Although I work in several media; scratchboard, colored pencil, aquarelle, and screen printing, my first love is ink, black or colored, using both stippling and line drawing, often with watercolor added. Some of my work is in a more graphic style, but I generally prefer highly detailed images.

My subject matter is almost always from the natural world; animals, herbs, and children, as well as illustrations incorporating knotwork.

My work has appeared in The Canadian Journal of Herbalism, The Journal of Family Life, The Guilded Herb, on the covers (and interiors) of the Compleat Mother, Homebase, and the Doula magazines, in the Birth Gazette, on advertising material for Media Watch and in numerous publications for Animal Alliance of Canada. I have won awards from the American Orchid Society and the National Anti-Vivisection Society, and have had work featured on a number of note cards and greeting cards, including a 1995 Christmas card for Save The Children. I have been the featured illustrator in the publication for the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. I have had several images featured in the books, Booby Juice, a collection of breastfeeding art, poetry and literature and in Images of Breastfeeding Worldwide, a resource book published by the World Alliance For Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and UNICEF. For several years I have accepted commissions for pet portraiture. I am currently working on a children's book, that employs very complex, highly detailed pictures.

I live and play in the Toronto area, with my amazing kids; Emma and Connor, our companion dogs, cats, bunnies,and birds - and last but certainly not least - my very understanding spouse Richard.

I would love to be considered for custom work, or for projects that focus on children and the incredible world around us.

Thanks for stopping by!


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