Featured Artist Gretchen Deahl

Enjoy the whimsical portfolio of illustrator Gretchen Deahl, and see more of her work by visiting her website.


Baby Monster


I am a professional illustrator with a passion for the unusual, the enigmatic, and the whimsical. I blame this fascination on my parents, both of whom enjoyed delving into the deeper mysteries of life, searching for the reasons behind things. Explorations of the world at large and seeking to understand the human psyche in particular, are subjects that fuel my imagination.


L Monster


Being human myself, I am captivated with the complexity and range of emotions, expressions and causes of why we do what we do. I would have probably been content as a psychologist, but my deep desire to create art kept getting in the way.




Love of illustration began at an early age, as I longed to create images like those within the pages of treasured picture books, magazines and paintings that surrounded and entranced me.


Human Psyche


After high school, I got serious about pursuing a career in art, so I attended the Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts), where I majored in Illustration. Thanks to the encouragement and education of my brilliant professors, I graduated with a BFA with honors; the notable Illustration Faculty Award and the Society of Illustrators (student) Starr Foundation Award tucked under my belt. I was quite full of myself at that point; sure the world was at my feet – so it was a shock when I discovered that illustration jobs weren’t knocking down my door. Cold reality and a dose of humility knocked instead.


Chicken Little


In my quest to procure any job in the field of art, I began work as a paste-up/mechanical artist for an ad agency in Philadelphia. To my delight, I was often called upon to create black and white illustrations for the agency’s several art directors.




A design position for a large healthcare foundation followed, expanding into a job as in-house illustrator, where I created full-color illustrations on diverse topics ranging from technical medical drawings to a comical exploding medicine cabinet. It was challenging, fun and a good lesson in flexibility to work on assignments that required producing art in various styles as well – from tight pen & ink renderings to expressionist pastel drawings.


W Monster


Later, over a ten year period, both of my beloved parents became ill. So, my IT engineer husband and I combined our skills, became business partners, and set up a small web design & hosting company as we moved in to care for them.




As little as 2 ½ years ago, I returned to my first love – Illustration. I work primarily in ink, pencil, and watercolor, using Photoshop for technical assistance. Children’s illustrations, including a world of whimsical monsters comprise much of my recent work.


Go Deep


Writing is also a strong interest of mine. Each of my 27 Guardian Monsters come with a unique name and detailed profile, describing their specific personalities, potential issues (we all have some), beneficial powers and most of all – proper etiquette to be strictly followed upon introduction. I continue to enthusiastically pursue new illustration and writing opportunities.


Gretchen Deahl invites you to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter, and to visit both of her Etsy shops.



  1. I love, love, love Gretchen’s monsters! And the hilarious “about monsters” link on her webpage alone is worth the visit!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks so much for your comment, especially about the “About Monsters” page. I had such fun writing the various stories and monster profiles. However, the more I wrote, the more I realized that all of those quirky personalities “live” within me….Yikes!
      — Gretchen 🙂

  2. I Love Gretchen’s monsters!!!

    • Thank you Tina!! As a result of this wonderful exposure and feedback on Artsy Shark, the monsters have begun strutting around, preening themselves, trying to out do each other. Some of them (I’m not naming any in particular… ahem…) have developed rather large egos… sigh…
      — Gretchen 🙂

  3. Barbara Schang says

    I have known Gretchen for many years. Her work just gets better and better. Her monsters are lovable and memorable.

  4. Peggy Hoffman says

    A superior artist with a uniquely creative internal world. My favorite monster is Icckelby Slumberton… beautifully designed.

  5. Thank you Peggy. Icckelby is a favorite of mine as well, even though Grumptinkus Gripper is closer to how I feel and act most days… 🙂 grrrrrrrrr….

  6. How wonderful and original!

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