Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 28, 2010

Illustrator Saturday – Jeanne Balsam

Once you look at Jeanne Balsam’s art, I think you will realize that Jeanne has been in love all her life. In love with animals, that is. From her first steps toddling up to hug her cousin’s Beagle, Jeanne has been entranced by animals of every kind right through to today where they are a rich source of inspiration in her writing and illustrating.

After completing her B.F.A. at Pratt Institute, Jeanne continued her post-graduate studies there in Art Therapy. But it was when she studied the writing and illustrating of children’s books with Uri Shulevitz at the New School that Jeanne discovered her heart’s desire. Through a long and circuitous route, which included a major career change or two, Jeanne has finally returned to her dream. Her stories and illustrations focus on the special magic of animals and the children who discover it.

A Graphic Designer by trade, Jeanne’s artwork has been published quarterly since 2003 in Just Frenchies magazine to present and Just Terriers magazine until its closing in 2009. Her extensive drawing of the French Bulldog has inspired more than one of her current children’s books as well as a small business in French Bulldog art.

Jeanne’s illustrations are primarily in colored pencil and/or in watercolor colored pencil. She also works in watercolor and pen and ink and combinations of all these media.

Places Jeanne has carved out to do her artwork and writing.  she says, “I actually work in two different spaces. If I’m doing spot art or working on a dummy, etc. and/or may need the computer, I tend to work in my downstairs space. When I am working on finished illustrations, I work in my upstairs studio space – quiet at the moment – where all my art supplies and children’s books are. It is when I am working here that I focus most deeply and am most inspired.”

Here is a black and white drawing Jeanne did of little Jeanne.

 Here is some sketches and the final art from one of Jeann’s projects. Jeanne says, “French Bulldogs have a wide variety of facial expressions – a big part of their appeal. I wanted to capture their mischievous attitude in this drawing. At first I did a bunch of drawings with cupcakes, (but went for Christmas cookies instead), then of them climbing on the table, and finally ON the table, totally into the cookies and caught red-handed!”

Etoile, the main character in one (actually, two), of my children’s books.

Frenchie and Fawn was created for a Christmas/holiday card.

This is 2 page spread created for an Illustrators’ Intensive at NJ SCBWI for a book about teaching children proper manners when meeting a new dog.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier.  Piece titled, Pup in Rose

The West Highland White Terrier and his little stuffed rat were for an illustration for Just Terriers magazine. I enjoyed the Westie having a (smiling) stuffed toy of an animal he might not be so friendly with in real life. (Many terriers were bred to be ratters).

Staffordshire Bull Terrier piece titled, A Stafford Christmas.

Jeanne looks forward to being published and to hopefully illustrate her own children’s books.
You can visit Jeanne on the web at or her blog

Hope you enjoyed Jeanne’s artwork and illustrations.  Jeanne demonstrates how blending your passion with your craft comes through in what you create.

Talk tomorrow,


PS: If you would like to be featured in the future, please conact me.


  1. Hey, Jeanne 🙂 I love the overhead view of the pups with the cookies! It’s so adorable 🙂

    As a young artist with no real direction, I gave up the opportunity to attend Pratt (I had been accepted). I was SO impressed by the artwork they put out. How wonderful that you attended, and I have to say, I’m loving the fact that you studied under Uri Shulevitz too. How lucky! To me, his book: Writing with Pictures, is my favorite of its kind. The man really knows his stuff.

    You’ve got a couple of great work spaces too! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Hi, Donna,

    Thanks so much for your lovely compliments. I loved being at Pratt – you were totally immersed in creativity 24/7 in a way you wouldn’t ever be again in your life. And Uri Shulevitz was such an inspiration – he helped me know what I am really meant to do.



  3. Jeanne- Your love of your craft shows through in your works of art! It was wonderful seeing you featured on Kathy’s blog. Keep creating 🙂


    • Thanks, Kim – I’m always working on it. That “Keep creating” applies to you, too, my sweet! Hope you will be writing with us again ….


  4. Kathy,

    Thanks so much for featuring me. Yesterday was a crazy busy day, but I did finally write about this today, Sunday, on my own blog. I linked here, and hope people will check out all the other great stuff you post about.

    TX again –


  5. Thank you for sharing Jeanne’s talents with others. She is so devoted to animals and we have been so blessed to have her help with our website and quarterly newsletters. Currently Jeanne is working on our 2011 calendar of the rescue horses. She is a devoted animal lover and a dear friend.

    Susankelly Thompson


    • Thanks, Sk –
      I appreciate it. And right back at you, on the last line.


  6. Thats amazing art Jeanne. Your love shines through your work 🙂
    Congrats on being featured. This is great!


  7. […] a link to Kathy’s website: Jeanne Balsam Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Girlfriend from Jersey Shore arrestedToday’s […]


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