Artist Spotlight — Lydia Hess

Adult Coloring Books Have Arrived!

We have the pleasure and honor of working with phenomenally talented artists, photographers, and authors to create our products. This week we’re especially excited to highlight a different form of creative expression from our Art Director Lydia Hess. We love her work and we know you do too. And now she has two adult coloring books to share! ~Amber Lotus

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Sample images from Lydia’s new coloring books. Click image for more info.

I could never stay within the lines. I know: coming from an illustrator of coloring books that seems odd. My childhood free time was spent with sketchbooks, markers, and pencils. Drawing, and creating fantasy stories as I drew, this was (and still is) a favorite way to spend my days.

How did this path lead to illustrating coloring books, you might ask. Over the past twelve years, I have had the opportunity to work with HarperCollins Publishers as a contributing illustrator. I was first contracted to create four iconic images – representing earth, air, fire, and water – to accompany Starhawk’s Wiccan chronicle, The Earth Path. That was the beginning of the road that led to these two inspirational coloring chronicles of my own, Sacred Nature and Sacred Symbols.

The sacred in nature, in mythology, and in our ordinary world has continued to find its way into my work. The quest to capture mystical moments or iconic symbolism was a wonderful challenge and a delightful undertaking.

I am honored to have had this exhilarating experience to create imagery that others can then take and add their own creative inspirational touches to. This collaborative medium, the coloring book, is a way of having a conversation with others through the ideas and images on the page. I look forward to seeing how people interpret these images for themselves.

I am rediscovering the joys of coloring through these books. My medium of choice, scratchboard, has an organic quality that highlights the natural, hand-illustrated style of the images. The line work in this style is also a bit more forgiving to the colorist who is challenged by staying within the lines. It suits my style of coloring, and I hope others are refreshed by this alternative approach and find the images soothing and joyful to relax into.

One extraordinary illustrator we work with at Amber Lotus, Kinuko Craft, put it so well: “Discipline yourself to polish skills, nurture your own imagination, know what you want, and guide yourself towards it. Never stop learning.” Those are wonderful words to guide anyone in life.

Today, I continue the very satisfying creative work as an art director, designer, image editor, and product developer with Amber Lotus Publishing. I could not ask for a more diverse and rewarding path to walk down. The collective creativity that surrounds me every day is astounding. From the award-winning images I work with in our calendar products to the intricate illustrations published in our greeting card lines, I am inundated with graphic stimulation. I’m always finding new and wondrous expressions of beauty in the world.


lydia-hessLydia Hess creates graphic montage images combining her colorful mono-prints, pen and ink scratchboard carvings, and antique engravings. She enjoys working on many different aspects of the creative process, including art directing, picture editing, designing, and illustrating. She currently does all of the above at Amber Lotus Publishing and loves the diversity and the opportunity to collaborate with other artists and image makers. Hess has recently completed two coloring books with HarperElixir, an imprint of Harper Collins publishing. For more information, please visit her website. Photo by Robbie McClaran.


Courtesy of our friends from HarperElixir, an imprint of Harper Collins publishing, please click image to download a PDF of a sample page from Sacred Nature that you can print at home and color.

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