Thyra Heder was born in Cambridge, MA and began her fine art education at the SMFA. She received her BA in Art Semiotics from Brown University and now lives and works in Brooklyn, NY where she has been a freelance illustrator for 15 years. She is the author and illustrator of 4 acclaimed picture books for children available worldwide through Abarms Books for Young Readers. Her online comics are published on Medium and Spiralbound and her illustrations have appeared in Vogue, The New York Times, and Vice. As a concept illustrator she has produced visuals for Swarovski and Bergdorf Goodman, and for films CODA, Barry, The Sesame Street Movie, and HBO's Scenes From A Marriage. She was a Sundance Screenwriting Fellow in 2015 and awarded the San Francisco Film Society Hearst Grant the same year. She teaches storyboarding at Drexel University, is a guest lecturer on Picture books at the New School, School of the Visual Arts, and Pratt Institute.
Everything I do starts with drawing. In commercial jobs for movies and advertising and in my own studio practice I always begin with a pencil and paper. I use drawing as a camera, as a diary, as a means to tell a story or a joke, a way to connect and offer up my version of the world. I see it as both an athletic and empathetic medium, best when you meet the energy of your subject with your own. I feel the same way about picture books. A good kids book is read over and over and has the unique and sneaky ability to exist where other art forms might not, in the most intimate domestic moments. I consider it a great honor to be welcomed into a child's emotional life and imagination and it is not a position I take lightly! I seek emotional truth and specificity in my books and think a story should work for any age. I try not to miss an opportunity for a laugh or a chance to expand a young readers' perspective through my storytelling.