Ute Simon grew up in Southern Germany and was artistically influenced by her beautiful environment since she was very young. She studied graphic design and illustration in Germany and in San Francisco at the Academy of Art University. With a couple of awards under her belt she went on to first work as a digital artist in the internet industry and since 2001 as a freelance illustrator and painter. She works on everything from children’s fiction and non fiction books and games to murals, prop design and classic oil portraits to paintings on high end cakes, her most featured one being Oprah Winfrey's 50th Birthday cake as seen in her show. Her books are published in the US as well as all over Europe and Asia. Ute now lives and works in Reno, NV and is inspired by the beautiful Eastern Sierra Nevada and northern Nevada desert light.