Introducing Suzie the Baby Yak


I am by no means a trained illustrator, but when my friend Morgan Kareus asked me to illustrate a story about their baby yak named Suzie, I was interested in the project for several reasons….


  1. In my work, I have been using encaustic as a ground for etching. Encaustic is a medium made from beeswax and resin that requires melting and when melted can be brushed onto a rigid support. I love the richness of the wax and the fine quality of the lines produced using this method. I thought encaustic would be a great way to capture the actual yak fibers in the illustrations. Here are some of my experiments:
  2. I had a vague idea of what a yak was before, but now I’m actually excited about yaks. They are quite interesting (and interesting looking) creatures. This is a photo of Chewy. He’s the bull on the “Harriest Kareus Farm.”Chewy
  3. I love the story of how Suzie the Baby Yak came to live on the “Harriest Kareus Farm.”
  4. The project sat on the table for months…do I really want to open this can of worms? I have no delusions of knowing about the process of illustrating a children’s book, but when I was appointed the AIR position, I thought this project would be a perfect endeavor for a residency through the library and because of what 970 West has to offer technically. With access to the building and the venue to make the process public, I thought maybe we could make Morgan & Seth’s idea come closer to reality. Why not give it a shot?


The story right now is just an incipient idea. We probably will not have a finished project by the end of the three-month residency, but the cool thing is that people who are interested can follow along with us as we learn in the process. Feedback is encouraged AND welcome! Please send your comments and feedback to



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