If you Google the name Laura Huliska-Beith, you will note that you can find this talented artist in book stores and on-line all across the country. Her whimsical, colorful characters are enchanting for both children and adults alike. She has been creating art professionally for 27 years.
I had the good fortune of working with Laura at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City where she was an artist and I was a product planner. We also had many fun nights practicing in our “basement band” where I sang and she played the drums. She was a killer drummer I might add and had great vocal backups to boot! Oh what good times, but let’s get back to the interview!
George, my very first dog, was the inspiration behind my very first children's book, The Book of Bad Ideas. Together we partnered in "Bad Idea # 143: Rollerblading with your dog even though he was kicked out of obedience school." It should have read "even though YOU were kicked out of obedience school" --- our failure to graduate was as much my fault as George's!
The poor guy was the first animal I had ever lived with, so he bore the brunt of all my learning curves. Living with and caring for animals has really opened up my heart and made me a much more compassionate person. And, animals are a very good substitute for people in children's literature- they have the ability to represent all types of cultures, ages, etc.
A mixture of acrylic painted papers, water color and gouache, collaged digitally.
Yes, together Jeff and I have lived with 6 dogs over the years... all from shelters or rescue.
They are all unique and come with their own personalities, quirks, gifts, and needs, but one that has the most unusual physical challenges has been our little dog Sigmund who is albino. Because of that gene mutation he is deaf (despite his HUGE ears), and blind in one eye. That has really given me a lesson in communication, and how there is so much more under the surface than we realize.
Hmmmm.... this is a hard one! It's probably "The Book of Bad Ideas" because of how it started and the fact that it's so personal.
"The Book of Bad Ideas"
My friend Jana and I made a giant paper mache/ parade puppet for the St Patrick's Day parade to raise awareness for the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. It took 11 people to operate that behemoth! Jana is on the right, and I am on the left carrying our dog Sigmund who I met that very day--- and adopted three days later.
To see more of Laura’s work, be sure to visit her website at :
Some other stories about Laura can be found here:
If you have a poem, artwork, song, photo or other creative animal inspired art that you have created and would like to share on our blog, please email to Mary@outlawkritters.com