Mary Jo Helchowski knew she wanted to be a children’s book illustrator before she was out of preschool.She spent all her free time drawing, painting, sculpting with clay; even making fairy homes with sticks and twigs.As she grew up,Mary Jo hung onto the whimsy of childhood, and continued creating artwork that reflects the joy of believing in magic and living simply, worry free.She started lessons at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts at age thirteen, and continued all the way through college. She graduated from Lyme in 2018 with a BFA in illustration.She has already completed three children’s books, and has a fourth on the way! She self published her first book, Mae Flowers, and worked with other self-publishing authors to make their stories come to life.Though she works as an illustrator, Mary Jo also has a job at the Old Lyme Library and at The Nest Coffee House of Deep River. Her work has been shown at the EssexGreen Arts Fair multiple times, and her books can often be seen at local author events at the UCONN Barnes and Nobel as well as RJ Julia Booksellers, and over 110 copies have been sold.Mae Flowers has also been featured in a WIN(Woman’s Interactive Network) conference as an example of kindness and friendship shown to women, by women. At the end of the day, Mary Jo just wants her artwork to make people feel happy, children and adults alike
Mary Jo Helchowski
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