Sylvia Shapiro

The flexibility of teaching online allows Sylvia to spend winters in Ojai, California, and summers on Vashon Island in Washington. Sylvia’s degrees in Illustration include an MFA from The University of Hartford, an MA from Syracuse University, and a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She also earned a BA in fine art from Cal State Northridge.

Although her initial training was in fashion illustration at Art Center, Sylvia’s professional career began at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Upon returning to California, she painted a sixty foot mural on a letter sorting machine for the post office as she built up a freelance business. Her work in packaging illustration for Mattel Toys led to full time employment in the fashion doll industry as a product and graphic designer in the Barbie and Princess of Power groups at Mattel with later freelance for Fisher-Price, Tyco, Hasbro, Galoob, Walt Disney, and Lanard Toys. Other full time staff jobs included digital background illustration and animation for the educational software company, Edmark, and large gouache renderings of aircraft interiors for Teague and Associates, an industrial design company.

Sylvia works both traditionally and digitally, and has freelanced as an illustrator for children’s books as well as concept work in the toy and entertainment industries. Sylvia teaches illustration classes and enjoys plein air watercolor painting, exhibiting her work at local galleries.