Artist and illustrator Lynette Schmidt has more than
30 years of experience in sculpture, painting, costume
design, and book illustration. As owner and
president of her own Garden Studio, Lynette
takes her inspiration in the essence of nature--the
hues and textures of her own lush garden and the
flora and fauna along Minnesota's North Shore,
where she lived from 1983-1993. Now resident
in Saint Paul, Lynette continues to work as a
sculptor, painter and children's book illustrator.
Born in Brittian, South Dakota in 1952 her family moved to southern Minnesota where traditional drawing was stressed by teachers from a very young age through to highschool. This small town had no shortage of good illustrators or opportunities to learn from them. And often she would take night classes at the local library, and also feels very fortunate to have the instructors she did in school. But the first teacher was her brother, two years her senior. They would sit down together on those cold Minnesota days and draw from a book that showed how to break down a subject into shapes.
"He was so much better than I and could have been a great artist, but he was too much a perfectionist! (He is now a cartographer)
Her professional carreer started when still in highschool as a part time staff artist at Josten's, where they make class rings, books, and deplomas. After a few years of school, and a move to Minneapolis/St Paul, she landed an Art Director posistion at Llewellyn Publications, and soon after became a feature illustrator at the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. Just when things were seeming to be falling into place, the Star folded in 1982 and merged with the Tribune.
Lynette took this opportunity to start a freelance business she calls Garden Studio.The intention was to freelance for periodicals and book publishers, but quite by accident, met some people in the giftware design business. This was perfect as a support while she persued her love of painting. It was also here that one of her designs was sold by a represenitive to a company who was interested in an artist who could sculpt. As it was, Lynette did not, but learned she could, bought some clay and tryed it and all were happy with the results, and a new love was born.