Heck, Ed 1963-
Heck, Ed 1963-
Born 1963, in Brooklyn, NY; son of an artist. Education: School of Visual Arts, B.F.A.
Author, artist, and graphic designer. American Museum of Natural History, designer and illustrator; freelance illustrator.
(Self-illustrated) Monkey Lost, Milk & Cookies, 2005.
Shreen G. Rutman, Shapes: Toddler Workbooks Learning Horizons, 1994.
R. McNeill Alexander, Bones: The Unity of Form and Function, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1994.
Liza Charlesworth and Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Dinosaurs, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.
Michael J. Novacek, Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Knopf (New York, NY), 1997.
Kimberly Weinberger, A Dinosaur Named Sue Sticker Book, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.
Illustrator Ed Heck began working on his pop art through late-night doodling, taking his simple drawings and learning to silk-screen the doodles he designed. "I enjoyed doing them and had more and more fun with them," Heck explained to Kathleen Sullivan in Art Business News. "From there, it all just snowballed." Throughout his childhood, Heck had received encouragement for his artistic efforts from teachers as well as from his parents. His father was also an artist, and the two spent time together drawing and analyzing their work. "He was my biggest fan," Heck told Sullivan. A career as a professional graphic artist as well as author/illustrator of the children's book Monkey Lost was the eventual result.
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, Heck found work illustrating children's books and working as a scientific illustrator. Among other jobs, he worked for the Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, where he designed a stance and posture for "Sue," the world's best-known Tyrannosaurus Rex. The images Heck created later appeared in A Dinosaur Named Sue Sticker Book, which was published as a joint effort between Scholastic and the Field Museum. Though much of his scientific illustration has been geared toward adults, Heck also illustrated the nonfiction picture book Dinosaurs.
Heck's more whimsical artwork is especially suited to books for children due to his use of graphic shapes and strong color. In his first picture book, Monkey Lost, a classroom of children search for Eric's missing monkey after the creature becomes lost on its way to the boy's school for show-and-tell. A kindly bus driver finally delivers a stuffed monkey to the class, and the teacher is relieved to realize that the lost monkey was only a toy. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that Heck's combination of "familiar situation, a bit of silliness, and some authentically conveyed feeling" works well in Monkey Lost. "This tale will please new readers as well as storytime audiences," wrote Gay Lynn Van Vleck in School Library Journal.
In addition to book illustration, Heck also exhibits his larger works, and his pop art has appeared in several New York galleries. "I don't draw to sell," Heck admitted to Sullivan. "I draw what comes to me. I enjoy it so much, I feel kind of guilty."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Art Business News, June, 2002, Kathleen Sullivan, "Doodle Dandy," p. 56.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of Monkey Lost, p. 1028.
School Library Journal, November, 2005, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of Monkey Lost, p. 93.
Ed Heck Home Page,http://www.edheck.com (September 5, 2006).