Helen was born and raised in Hefei, China. She enjoyed drawing and writing since she was seven but never thought to become a professional artist or writer. She came to the United States to study applied economics. Helen began her career in project management. To make beautiful marketing materials, Helen taught herself graphic design and soon discovered her true passion for art. Helen took the leap, dived into the picture book world, and never left since then. Currently she is a graphic designer, children's book writer and illustrator living in Des Moines, Iowa, with her family.

"Art is a world that I can escape into that is dreamy, expansive, expressive, and timeless. I enjoy exploring various art mediums which includes: acrylics; pen and ink; pencil; digital and mixed media. My artworks are inspired by the unique elements of everyday life, the amazing people I meet, nature itself, novels I read, movies I watch and music I listen to. As a first-generation immigrant, I love to share the stories from my own immigrant experiences."
----Helen H. Wu

  • Q: What medium or mediums do you work with?

    A: My paintings now are pen & ink and digital. I draw with pen and ink on paper, then scan the drawing to computer to continue. I use a Wacom Intuos tablet to paint colors digitally in Photoshop. I still enjoy traditional painting, such as acrylic, watercolor and gouache, and I also find the digital process so appealing because it gives me more chances than traditional and I can draw more freely and comfortably.

  • Q: How long have you been an artist? How did you get started?

    A: I have always had an interest in art however it took me a long time to find the exact path that I wanted to follow. I took private lessons and studied drawing for more than ten years beginning at age six, but during those years I never thought to have art as a profession. In 2011 I was introduced to graphic design, I loved it so much that I decided as soon as I finished my degree in Economics, that I would pursue creating artwork for graphic design. Since then I started looking for freelance artistic work. I had a few offers of illustrating for books and magazines, gradually I picked up my drawing and painting skills and passion, I decided to go back to art.

  • Q: Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?

    A: I have had both. I took private lessons and studied drawing for more than ten years beginning at age six, however my digital painting skills, including Photoshop/Illustrator are self taught.

  • Q: Do you have any favorite art supplies that you would like to recommend?

    A: For my pen and ink drawing, I use Sakura Pigma Micron Ink Pen. It's archival ink and very smooth. For digital painting, I use a Wacom Intuos 4 Medium, it is absolutely worth the investment.

  • Q: How do you get ideas to create a piece? What inspires you?

    A: My artworks are inspired by the elements of everyday life, my Labrador pup Bear, the amazing people I meet, nature itself, novels I read, movies I watch and music I listen to. I doodle in my sketch book and that's usually how an idea forms and a painting starts.

  • Q: Finally do you have any last words of advice for beginner artists?

    A: Never give up on your dream. Every amazing artist you look at started as a beginner. Art is like a language, it comes with practice. Just keep at it and you will get better and you can make a living doing what you love!

  • Q: Anything else you would like to share about yourself?

    A: Anyone is welcome to contact me with questions or offers through my website.