Dana Koehler
Hazel is Home

Children's Publishing

Un-commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
My goal with this project is to provide hope and a sense of belonging to children in blended families. My own young (step)daughter splits her time between two homes, enduring many challenges along the way. Hazel is Home addresses complex emotions such as loneliness and conflicting identities, while promoting resilience through uplifting, colorful imagery and imaginative, visual storytelling.

How was the illustration used:
All illustrations have been used for interior spreads and cover art for Hazel is Home. Ultimately, I would like to build the title out as a series! Illustrated picture book for ages 3-5 following the adventures of a thriving and boisterous child from a blended family.

How did you make this work:
I began with observations of my daughter at play to create initial sketches and color decisions for the character and palette. For final artwork, I used my own unique digital illustration style that emulates a cut-paper method; I loosely outline all shapes, fill each with the textured strokes of a homemade digital brush, then playfully layer and overlap them together as if in the physical world.

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Dana Koehler is a graphic artist and illustrator whose work celebrates the triumphs and tribulations of childhood. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has worked as a designer for creative institutions, independent art galleries and nonprofits throughout the United States since 2015. She also maintains a robust practice in freelance illustration.