Diana Sudyka is a Chicago based illustrator. Early on she created screenprinted gigposters for musicians including: Andrew Bird, Neko Case, St. Vincent, The Black Keys, and The Decemberists. Currently her illustration work focuses on young adult, middle grade, and children’s books, while her personal work is inspired by her passion for natural history. She has illustrated several volumes of the award winning book series The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, and more recently Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley. When not working or with her family, she volunteers in the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History bird lab. Her instagram feed sometimes has a disproportionate amount of pictures of lichens and moss.
“I’ve always had a strong interest in and connection to nature. I spent a lot of time outdoors growing up, and love to go hiking and back country camping. When I was pretty young my Aunt gave me a Roger Tory Peterson Bird Guide, and so that began the bird obsession. We had an old set of encyclopedias from my grandparents, and I would always love to look at the the color plates of birds, mammals, sea creatures, fungi, insects etc. I would draw pictures of birds and make my own bird guides. When I began volunteering at the Field Museum, I began a blog, The Tiny Aviary, that documents the work I do there and the watercolor paintings that I make of many of the birds I work on. The watercolors started out as pretty quick sketches, and now they have evolved into more developed paintings. I have been studying more closely the work of natural history artists such as: Audubon, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, C.F. Tunnicliffe. I just saw the work of a contemporary painter, Walton Ford, that deals with natural history and work of the aforementioned illustrators, and was blown away. Something to strive for, I guess.” – Diana Sudyka (Sezio)