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 About Julie Esch Ryder 

Honors and Achievements...

RMC-SCBWI-illustration voted into the 2018 Illustrators Calendar


Recipient of the Writing Rooster’s Memorial Scholarship


RMC-SCBWI-illustration voted into the 2017 Illustrators Calendar


Julie Esch Ryder...

I grew up in Colorado Springs in the middle of a large family.  I loved it!  Like many artists, I loved drawing as a kid.  I copied comics, colored flowers, and drew people.  In my teen years I came across a tablet that my mother filled with drawn portraits.  I was fascinated, and began drawing people portraits for hours.

That moment...

I worked as an elementary school librarian, it was a fluke that I was hired.  The job originally went to a woman with 2 master’s degrees.  She lasted 2 weeks realizing that “kids” weren’t her thing.  Therefore, the job went to me, I had never worked in a library before.  I loved working with children and I loved education, but I had no idea what to do. 


I started shelving books.  I will never forget that moment.  I glanced quickly at the author’s name, filed the book in its correct spot on the shelf...then another...and another.  All of the sudden something caught my eye.  It was an illustration.  I had to get these books shelved in a timely manner...but, I couldn't resist the urge to turn the page.  I opened it and before me was a world of beautiful art and words. The artwork was magical and sophisticated!  Words danced and spun around the art to create a fully encompassing experience.  At that moment, I knew I had found a place for my wandering soul to land.  I knew I would be an author/illustrator. 

The journey...

Like most journeys the path was not straight nor easy.  Like many artists I clouded myself in doubt as to whether I could make it as an artist.  I did everything else but my dream.  I graduated with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Org. Management from the University of Colorado.  I completed a Master's degree in IT and Project Management. I worked as a realtor, and a project manager.  My husband and I raised 3 incredible boys to men during those years.  I constantly engaged in art.  I took art classes, writing classes, developed mentoring relationships with artists, and I joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).  My artistic skills literally developed over a lifetime.  


Writing and illustrating provides me enormous pleasure in the pursuit of worlds and stories yet to be discovered.  It is elusive to describe what exactly fuels the desire and satisfaction gained from such pursuits.  In those moments of creation, I can be the kid again, but with the wisdom I've brought along the way. 


-Julie Esch Ryder

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