Heather Vangjeli self portrait
2023 Senior Exhibition Artists 2023 Senior Exhibition Artists: Heather Vangjeli
Heather Vangjeli

Art + Design: Illustration | Graphic Design Minor

About Heather Vangjeli

Heather Vangjeli is a writer, illustrator, and designer based out of Central Massachusetts. A lifelong learner, she received a BA in Arabic and MS in International Relations before deciding on a career change from the Air Force. It was the best kind of change – to be a children's picture book author and illustrator! To help in her goal, she studied and received a BFA in Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design at UMass Dartmouth. In a world that is full of challenges, her heart's desire is to capture the innocence, joy, and magic of childhood through her picture books.


Since the moment I decided to change careers, I knew children’s book illustration was the route I wanted to take. So then after I had my daughter, creating a book for her was the most natural thing in the world. When she was around six months old, a lot of people would say “don’t rock her to sleep or she’ll become dependent on it”. However, I loved that time best, when everything was quiet and she was snuggled up with me after a long day. During those times I would spend time reflecting — on the day, how much she’d grown, and I would wonder what she would grow up to be. My book came from that moment, and the joy of being a mother to my precious little girl. My desire was that no matter what happened to me, my daughter would always know how very loved she is.

I am in the process of submitting my book to literary agents and publishers, so I can’t put my work online right now, but keep an eye out for it in the future! Here are some of my other recent works for your enjoyment.