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Origins

I give a lot of credit to the original Batman TV series for getting me interested in drawing. As a child I was completely fascinated by that show - especially the animated title sequence. I remember noticing that when the caped crusaders ran toward me, their legs alternated between extended and cut off at the knee. When I discovered that I was able to make my crude drawings of Batman do roughly the same thing, it seemed absolutely magical to me. But I could see that my drawings weren't as good as the ones on TV, so I drew them over and over trying to get them just right. Soon I expanded my repertoire to include dinosaurs and astronauts. I'd stay indoors all day drawing if my mother didn't make me go outside to play with the other kids in the San Diego sunshine. 

I received plenty of positive feedback from the adults in my life at that age. I think I would have kept drawing regardless, but compliments and praise were great incentive. In 1st grade, Miss Sickler invited me to draw dinosaurs on the classroom chalkboard and share what I knew about them with the rest of the class. 

Throughout my middle school years I spent a lot of time collecting and studying comic books. I drew constantly. Sometimes I'd trade drawings of hot rods or superheroes on the playground for quarters or candy. By the time I became a freshman at Arlington High School I was invited to join the school newspaper as staff cartoonist - my first big break.

 

Work

During the 1980s I worked as a Tower Records display artist where I won a number of awards and caught the attention of Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament, who contracted me to sculpt the lettering on the cover of their first record. In 1991 I left Tower to work as a window display artist at the downtown Seattle Macy's department store. 

In September of 2000 I joined Smashing Ideas in Seattle as a digital designer and was promoted to Senior Art Director in 2007. At SI I had the opportunity to work on numerous interactive projects for kids with producers and education consultants at PBS Kids, Nick Jr., The Disney Channel and Mattel - to name a few.

My 2004 picture book debut Ella The Elegant Elephant was illustrated under my previous name, Steven D'Amico. Published by Arthur A. Levine Books, it received several honors including the 2005 Washington State Book Award. Three more Ella books followed, as well as a TV series based on the books which debuted on Disney Junior in 2014. I served as art consultant to that show during production.

In 2014 I changed my surname to Henry and left Smashing Ideas to focus on picture book and contract illustration projects. These days I do most of my drawing and painting from my home in West Seattle where I live with my wife Blake, my son Lucian and a slightly overstuffed cat named Wini. 

-SH


Books

Ella The Elegant Elephant (Scholastic, 2004)
Ella Takes The Cake (Scholastic, 2005)
Ella Sets The Stage (Scholastic, 2006)
Ella Sets Sail (Scholastic, 2007)
Suki The Very Loud Bunny (Dutton, 2008)
The Hanukkah Hop! (Simon & Schuster, 2011)
Suki & Mirabella (Dial, 2013)
It's Raining Bats & Frogs (Macmillan, 2015)
A Lucky Author Has A Dog (Macmillan, 2015)
All Kinds Of Kisses (Macmillan, 2016)
Herbert's First Halloween (Chronicle, due 2017)
How Many Hugs? (Macmillan, due 2017)
Something Smells (Simon & Schuster, due 2018)
Welcome To Morningtown (Bloomsbury, due 2018) 


Television

Ella The Elephant / Disney Jr. (U.S. premiere 2014)


Awards

Washington State Book Award 2005

PNBA Award 2005


Representation

Robin Rue at Writer's House, NYC