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Heidi Smith was born in Scottsdale, Arizona. She began drawing at the age of 4, and has not stopped since.
Growing up, she was not trained as an artist but was inspired by her mother, a painter of Russian descent. Later, she did train as an artist; during the four years that she attended California Institute of the Arts (a.k.a. CalArts), her Life Drawing teacher and mentor E. Michael Mitchell had an impact on her growth. She graduated from CalArts in 2008.
Ms. Smith hopes to maintain the standards of artistic success set on ParaNorman with her subsequent projects.