Hilary Price has always loved to draw and write. As a child, she was inspired by Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein and by several cartoonists in the New Yorker magazine. Her first actual cartoon character was a friendly monster that “looked a little like a sitting-down hippopotamus,” Hilary says. “I used my mother’s blusher from her cosmetic’s bag to ‘paint’ it.”
During a trip to Ireland, Hilary submitted some of her comics to a local newspaper, which published them. When she realized she could make money drawing and writing cartoons, she knew it was what she wanted to do when she grew up.
Hilary writes her comics from an office in an old toothbrush factory that she shares with other writers and artists. Her comic strip, called Rhymes with Orange, shows funny situations that take place in the real world. Inspired by her cats, dog, and other pets, Hilary also creates cartoons about animals.
In addition to writing Rhymes with Orange, Hilary does freelance illustration, gives talks about cartooning, writes essays, and makes greeting cards. She also likes to read the newspaper, ski, and ride her bike.
After graduating from Stanford University in California in 1992, Hilary worked in San Francisco and drew comics on the side. In 1995, a company called King Features Syndicate worked with Hilary to publish her cartoons in newspapers all over the country, making her the youngest woman to ever have a syndicated comic strip.
Hilary remembers when she found out that one of her major role models, artist Sandra Boynton, was a woman. Because Sandra only signed her art with her last name, Hilary assumed “Boynton” was a man. “The fact that a ‘she’ was doing funny drawings,” says Hilary, “opened up the possibility that I could, too.” Hilary hopes to inspire other girls to become comic artists and encourages female artists to always sign their full name so that they can be recognized for their work.