Hello and welcome to my art studio blog! My name is Farah Aria and I am an artist, writer, and mom who enjoys creating whimsical and multicultural artwork for children.
I love making art that is fun and happy for children, and also speaks to the child in a grown-up's heart. I like to celebrate people from diverse cultures, and also art which promotes protection of the animals, environment and peace on our planet!
Long Bio and Professional Resume:
I grew up and still live in Southern California, and as a child enjoyed reading, drawing (although I wasn't very good at it) and playing teacher.
I began teaching at my mother’s Montessori preschool at the age of 16, ten years later I changed directions when I realized my love of art and children’s books was too strong not to pursue.
I spent the next four years studying illustration at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where I earned my art degree with a focus on Children’s Books!
Art Center opened up a whole new world of exploring techniques, art mediums and materials, and a freedom using color! I also came to realize that my art, intended for children, spoke to the child in many of my adult collectors.
My favorite mediums and materials to use are Windsor Newton or Holbein Gouache (an opaque version of watercolor), gesso, watercolor, Windsor Newton Finity Acrylic Paint, Indian ink, Prismacolor colored pencils and other mixed media on Strathmore paper or board. My new favorite is cradled wood panel canvas to paint on!
Each project is unique in what mediums best suit the mood of the work. I like to be open to what materials are called for in creating a new painting or drawing.
When my son was 8 months old I began freelancing full time using only the internet to communicate with clients, and my computer to create illustrations. That was eleven years ago!
I’ve been painting in Photoshop creating artwork digitally with a wacom tablet and pen doing all art from sketches to final art transmitted via the internet, including entire children's book projects. I have worked with clients in just about every US state as wells as Canada and Korea.
I have also created artwork for nonprofit organizations, large and small, promoting equality for women, children, diversity education, celebration of mixed family adoption, special children's health issues, as well as reading and education programs for children in countries of need.
After graduating from Art Center in 1997, for two years, and again in 2005, I had two art studios for children teaching fine and creative art. “The Purple Tree Art Studio” and “Soleil Luna Studio”. Both were wonderful times spent exploring art with children, and a good learning experience dealing with parents. But it became impossible to lease an affordable space in So Cal.
I am back to freelance illustrating and just completed my seventh book! "Yum Apples" was released in 2011 for Lee & Low's Bebop Books!!
I also create original work for my ETSY shop "farah aria studios" that I opened January 2009! Creating wood panel canvas paintings of whimsical images with prints made of these paintings! I hope you enjoy! www.faraharia.etsy.com
I have another shop "flame and shadow" featuring sumi-e paintings and mixed media paintings of women: www.flameandshadow.etsy.com
~ Freelance Resume and Clients ~
I've created works for:
Educational Books and Posters
Children's Picture Books
Board Books for Infants and Toddlers
Novelty / Activity Board Books for Toddlers and Preschoolers
CD and DVD Cover Art
Art Prints for Children's Rooms
Parent and Teacher Websites
Multicultural Coloring Books
Magazines for Children, Girls, Parents, and Women
Hispanic / Latino / African American and Asian Magazines and Newspapers
Character Design for animation
Yum Apples / illustrator / Bebop Books / Colorbridge Books / 2011
The Cat and The Rat / EEC International / 2007
Ice-Cream Money / illustrator / Bebop Books / 2004
Pet and Play / Kindermusik / 2003
My First Shape Sorter Book / illustrator / Innovative Books / Spring 2003
Grumpy Monkeys / author / illustrator /Korea Co. Publishing /2003
Tiger Island / author / Korea Co. Publishing / 2003
Scholastic READ AND RISE Magazine 2005 / 2006
Metro Parent/African American Parent Magazine
Weekly Reader READ Magazine
Padres de Sesame Street Magazine
New Moon Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams
(Multicultural Cover Art, Licensed on T-Shirts, Posters, Cards, Pins etc.)
Daria / CD covers, liner notes art/ CD interior art, character design for animation, posters.
Paramount Cards (Greeting Cards)
Harcourt Brace (Large Multicultural Poster 2006)
LA Times "Read by 9" Parent Reading Guide 2005 (Cover and all artwork: March 2005)
RIF "Reading Is Fundamental" (Multicultural Illustrated Activity Pages / Web Illustrations 2005/2006/2007/2008/2009
Scholastic "Read and Rise" Count Your Blessings
Medium Blend (Cover and Interior Spread for Thallassemia Booklet of Multicultural Children"
Brightening Minds (Baby DVD Cover Character Art)
Kindermusik (Board Book for Children)
Bebop Books/LEE and LOW (Spanish & English Children's Book Illustrator)
McGraw-Hill (Educational Textbook Illustration)
Rigby Educational Publisher (Poster)
Creative Living Magazine
You can see some of my freelance illustration on
You can see my art on some gifts, posters and greeting cards in my cafe press shop:
original art and prints:
You can visit my studio blog at:
books, writing, reading, art, children's books, our environment, animals, saving the world, and my son!