Three Times A Charm With Aidana WillowRaven

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the publishing industry.

This week I’m honored to welcome the very talented Aidana WillowRaven. Aidana is an illustrator and book cover designer. She did the cover for my good friend, Beverly Stowe McClure’s middle grade novel, Just Breeze. LOVED it! Aidana, please tell us more about you:

Aidana WillowRaven, mother of three, was trained in Fine Art, Studio Design and Animation at Norfolk State and Old Dominion universities.

She has illustrated and/or designed over 100 books through her company, WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus, in Tennessee. Her work has won numerous awards, has been published in several magazines, and has earned her guest appearances at various conventions.

Framed and signed prints of some of her most popular works can be purchased through her ImageKind gallery:

To view her portfolio, or contact her, visit her website:

Wow, over 100 books! Holy cow. You must stay so very busy. What is your latest and greatest adventure?

            My latest artistic interest is in digital illustration. Although I was formally trained with traditional mediums, I find it a challenge trying to blend today’s software techniques with traditional mindset. I love challenge. But I don’t think I’ll ever give up traditional work altogether. There is nothing like the feel of charcoal gliding on good paper, watching the emergence of colored pencil on a blank ground, the stretching and prepping of a canvas, or the smell of a gum eraser. I guess you have to be an artist to get it … lol.

Oh my goodness, NO, I totally get it and the only thing I can draw is a bath! Thank you for the lovely examples of your newest medium.

Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.

  • Top 3 pieces of advice

The advice I tell any fresh artist: Learn Everything. Yes, you need to develop a style of your own. Yes, you need to find a niche, a way to set yourself apart. But … If you hope to do this for a living, live as a professional artist/illustrator/designer and not need ‘a real job’, I can’t emphasize the need for diversity enough.
Agents don’t like it. Some Art Directors don’t like it. But the more you can do, and do well, the more jobs are open to you. The more of a hirable asset you become.

Learn everything.

  • Top 3 most admired authors.

This is a tough one. Being a reader of fantasy, there are so many. I’d have to say my favorite is the late Robert Jordan.
            There are several in the rank of second place, but off the top of my head: Eddings, McCaffrey, Brook, Lacey, Bradley, oh … there are so many.
            Of course, If I don’t list Tolkien, they’ll take my membership card away … lol.

  • Top 3 sources of inspiration.

This one is easy…

1.      Books
2.      Other artists’ artwork.
3.      Everything else … lol. I mean everything. I see art everywhere. I’ll never live long enough to create every illustration that is filed in my head.

Can I just say…I, so, get you! I really, really understand. My life is a series of instances that could become a story. Sometimes it is actually exhausting.

Aidana, where can our readers learn more about you and your lovely work?

Thank you, Aidana for joining us today on Strands of Thought. I have so much respect for your talent and I’m so thrilled to host you here.



  1. Great interview. Thanks!


  2. Absolutely, Rena! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. How did I miss this? I'm late, as always.

    Aidana is fabulous. Speaking of Breeze, she captured my image of the character better than I could have imagined. It's great to learn more about her life.

    Wonderful interview, Kai.

  4. I'm so glad you did find the interview, Bev. It has been a pleasure getting to know a bit more about Aidana. I would be honored to have the opportunity to work with her in the future.


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