Gabriola artist Dianna Bonder is the illustrator in residence for the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton this fall.

Gabriola artist Dianna Bonder is the illustrator in residence for the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton this fall.

Illustrator delights in whimsy

NANAIMO – Dianna Bonder becomes artist in residence for Edmonton library.

Gabriola illustrator Dianna Bonder creates whimsical creatures, animals and scenes to grace the pages of children’s books.

“I love vibrant, colourful artwork. I am inspired by a lot of great children’s literature,” said Bonder, adding she likes to incorporate puns, plays on words and likes to anthropomorphize animals in her illustrations.

Bonder was chosen ad the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence for 2016 for the Stanley A. Milner Library in Edmonton. She arrived Oct. 17 and will be in residence until Nov. 10.

“The exposure is really tremendous,” said Bonder about the opportunity. “It’s been tremendous networking a lot across Canada.”

Bonder said she’s applied for the residency for the past three years. The residency program was created in memory of an illustrator who died in 2011.

While in Edmonton, Bonder will lead workshops for adults, art activities for children, conduct presentations in high schools and colleges and review portfolios for other artists.

Bonder said she’s excited to do the residency and have the opportunity to potentially interact with thousands of kids and share her art form.

Bonder said she didn’t have the opportunity to talk with illustrators or artists in her school when she was growing up.

She said it’s important for children to realize that many of these illustrations are created by people and not just done on computers or by machines.

“For kids to see you creating something, creating these characters from the ground up is really exciting … for kids to see that there is a human being behind them,” she said.

Bonder has illustrated 14 books and is working on her 15th children’s book.

She has been drawing since childhood. Her mother was trying to pursue a career as a writer and created numerous stories, although none were published. Bonder would create the pictures for the stories.

“I had a style that wasn’t realism. It was kind of fun and silly,” said Bonder. “I am kind of a real watcher of natural things around me and I think that inspires me.”

Prior to becoming a children’s book illustrator Bonder was working as a graphic artist. She studied merchandizing and fashion design in Toronto and attended the University of Thompson Rivers to study fine arts and digital arts.

But she decided the commercial world of art wasn’t her forte.

“I kind of went back to my first love, which was children’s literature,” said Bonder.

For more, please go to

Just Posted

Woodgrove Centre has a temporary COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by Island Health. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 vaccine clinic set up at Woodgrove Centre

Anyone 12 and up can receive a first dose of mRNA vaccine seven days a week

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
Central Island’s United Way merging with other chapters to create United Way B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Young people graduating in COVID-19 times have shown resilience. (Stock photo)
Editorial: Class of 2021 has shown smarts and resilience

Congratulations and good luck to Grade 12s who have persevered during the pandemic

The Nanaimo Business Awards are accepting nominations now. (Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce image)
Nanaimo Business Awards accepting nominations of worthy winners

This year’s awards aren’t until the fall, but the nomination period ends June 28

Retailers say they’re ready for the ban on single-use plastic checkout bags in Nanaimo when it takes effect July 1. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Retailers report they’re ready for Nanaimo’s single-use checkout bag ban

Business operators say there’s been plenty of time to plan and prepare for bylaw that kicks in July 1

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Point Roberts is part of the mainland United States but not physically connected to it, to reach the community by land one must pass through Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Closed Canadian border leaves Point Roberts’ only grocery store on verge of closure

‘We’re Americans but we’re not attached to America. It’s so easy to forget we’re here,’ says owner Ali Hayton of Point Roberts, Wash.

The Somass Sawmill sits idle in early May 2021. While the kilns have been in use occasionally, and the lot has been used to store woodchips this spring, the mill has been curtailed since July 27, 2017. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni to expropriate Somass Sawmill from Western Forest Products

Sawmill has been ‘indefinitely’ curtailed since 2017

Robin Sanford and her fiance Simon Park were married in an impromptu ceremony at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on June 16. (Submitted photo)
Mom dies day after witnessing daughter’s hospital wedding in Abbotsford

Nurses help arrange impromptu ceremony in 3 hours for bride and groom

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson with Premier John Horgan after the budget speech Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. home owner grant won’t be altered, despite expert advice

Tax break for residences worth up to $1.6 million too popular

B.C. conservation officer Sgt. Todd Hunter said a black bear is believed to have killed local livestock. (THE NEWS/files)
Black bear believed to have killed miniature donkey in Maple Ridge

Trap set for predator that has been killing livestock

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Supply of skilled tradespeople can’t keep up to Vancouver Island construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Most Read