Aileen Leijten | Writer * Illustrator * Artist
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Aileen Leijten

Painter of Plots  *  Spinner of Stories * Fabricator of Figurines

Books written and illustrated


Creating together



I love illustrating the books I write, but also books written by other people. Working on 'Bella & Bean', by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, was a wonderful experience, as was illustrating 'City Hall', by Susan Bloom and Debbie Bertram. Creating books covers is something I want to do more of.


From the first time I walked into 'Every Picture Tells a Story...', a picture book gallery in Los Angeles, I knew I wanted to create a picture book of my own. I was at CalArts at the time, and I started a book project right away. That was the earliest incarnation on my book 'Hugging Hour'.


Belgium has a long tradition of Comix, and Graphic Novels. I grew up reading comix such as 'Tin Tin', and 'Suske en Wiske', but it wasn't until college that I was turned onto the art of people like Francois Schuiten. This had a profound influence on me which ultimately resulted in the creation of Lint Boy.


I am available for school visits, library and conference presentations, and I offer teaching workshops in drawing, crafting, and wool sculpting for adults and children eight and up. Look at the events page or contact me at for more detailed information.


Sculpting has always been one of my passions, and when I got re-intruduced to sculpting with wool about ten years ago, it really captured my attention in a new way. I love creating human and animal figurines out of wool. Working in three dimensions has inspired my illustration and vice versa.


After earning a Bachelor degree in Animation from KASK in Belgium, I came to the U.S., to study Experimental Animation Film at CalArts. About eight years after I graduated with an MFA, I started teaching traditional animation at the institute. Unfortunately my teaching career was cut short by a move to NYC.

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