Notes from North Light Books

Just about two aisles down from The Pastel Journal’s offices sit the editors of North Light Books, publishers of all kinds of art instruction titles on topics ranging from pastel and watercolor to fantasy and manga. We’ve invited the book editors to visit us on the blog a few times each month to share some news and notes from their side of the business. Today we’ll hear from Mona Michael, managing editor of North Light Books, with an introduction to one of the authors she’s been working with recently:

It generally takes one to two years to create a North Light Fine Art book. That means that those of us who are North Light Books editors generally get to know our artist/authors pretty well. Or do we? To find out, we’ve begun sending authors little “Q+As” once their books come out. For this, our first Pastel Journal blog, I thought I’d share a little insider info with you. First up is Ann Kullberg.

Ann’s most recent North Light Book, Colored Pencil Secrets for Success: How to Critique and Improve Your Paintings was featured as one of Jen’s North Light Picks not too long ago. I spent a year (or more? I can’t remember now) working with Ann on this compilation book, and I can tell you she’s a delightful person who holds up like steel under pressure and aggressive deadlines. But what else? Here are a few factoids:

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Hometown: Forest Grove, OR

Current residence: Federal Way, WA

Kids and/or pets?  Both a daughter and a son, but no pets

Favorite food: My mom’s Lemon Pork Chops…yummmmmmm!

Favorite movie: Cool Hand Luke

Favorite website(s): Huffington Post

Favorite artist: Mary Cassatt

Favorite book (art instruction or other): To Kill a Mockingbird

First job ever: Picking strawberries every summer, starting at age 9! 

Best job ever: Teaching colored pencil workshops

When did you know you wanted to be an artist? I’m not sure I ever did want to be one as much as it just seemed I was one, and I could choose to nurture those talents, or choose not to and pursue others.

Give us a taste of your latest project?  Creating the first online colored pencil directory, listing hundreds of colored pencil websites, blogs, books, videos, etc.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received? I didn’t actually receive this advice, but it is advice I could pass on, just the same. It’s never about the “big break.” It’s about all the baby steps that move you forward in your career inch by inch by inch.

Websites: and

Check out (and save on) Ann’s previous book, on portraits, Colored Pencil Portraits
Follow North Light Books, Fine Art on Facebook
Check out the latest video workshops from

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