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Illustration of a black bird in mid flight against a blue sky.

Digital Short Story 2019 spotlight: “Ornithology for Artists” By Susanne Reece

“Ornithology for Artists”

Written and illustrated by Susanne Reece

A chance encounter with a starling leads to a meditation in words and images on pushing past fear and self-doubt as an artist. What makes someone an artist? Are you a real artist if you have a day job? What if your day job pays really well but doesn’t leave you any time to make art? Would you be able to walk away from that job? What kind of bird are you? Asking the questions is easy. Finding the answers to them can be hard. 

Susanne Reece is a writer, an illustrator and a visual storyteller. She was raised in Texas and had already decided two things by the time she was 4 years old: she wanted to 1. be an artist and 2. live in New York City. It was a long, circuitous route, but eventually she accomplished both. Before settling in New York, Susanne spent approximately 1 million years in graduate school studying art history.

Susanne has a particular interest in creative nonfiction. Her recent work explores the lives of artists, writers and other creative thinkers. She is also fascinated by science and natural history and is always looking for an excuse to draw birds or bears. 

Find her on Instagram @susannemreece