After graduating from San Jose State University with a degree in Graphic Design and concentration in Illustration, she landed at job at American Greetings as a professional Lettering Artist. In 1998, she launched her own design/handlettering/illustration firm, GabbyandCo.com where she has worked with clients in the technology, greeting card, medical, toy, retail, and publishing industries.
Shirley’s illustrations have appeared in many children’s books including those published by Lee & Low Books, the APA/Magination Press, Little Simon, ThomasNelson/HarperCollins, Kane Press, Kathleen Fucci Ministries, Peek-a-Bear Press, and Sounds True Publishing.
Shirley is constantly thinking of new stories and works in various mediums—sketching, painting in watercolor, gouache, digital, and layering multimedia techniques. She is inspired by family, fond memories of her youth, food, animals, and especially nature. An avid walker, she loves spotting jackrabbits, geese, cows, and sometimes wild boar. It’s no wonder geese and clouds have become main characters in a recent story!
A California native, Shirley is a proud descendent of seamstresses from both sides of her family. Watching and learning to sew from her beloved mom, Shirley is happy to see the love of sewing continue with her daughters. She lives in the Bay Area, California, with her family, pup Zsófi, and two cats, Miso & Luna. For more of her work, visit www.shirleyngbenitez.com