As children, we love to mindlessly escape into the lovely and cheerful world of kids’ books. As adults, however, we are likely intrigued by the profound messages they reveal between their gorgeously illustrated pages.
I was recently babysitting my young cousins, and as bedtime approached, an endless list of books needed reading. As we read, looked at pictures, and said goodnight to the moon, I realized that children’s book illustrators do not get enough credit for their work. So, today, in honor of my cousins and their nightly stories, we’re sharing five children’s book illustrators that you need to follow on Instagram.
Penny Weber | @pennyweberart
Penny Weber is a full-time children’s book illustrator. While she previously worked in the traditional watercolor space, she now paints and draws in Photoshop to recreate her classic watercolor style. As a child, Penny often found herself drawing celebrity faces and neighbor’s pets, so it makes sense that, as an adult, she specializes in sketching people and animals. While she’s illustrated many children’s books, you might have found her illustrations in the Chris P. Bacon series for Hay House Publishers. Scrolling through Penny’s account, you’ll find endless books and drawings filled with emotion, color, and meticulous detail.
Katie Risor | @creekkidart
Based in San Antonio, Katie Risor studied at The University of Texas at Dallas and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Technology and Emerging Media and Communication. As an illustrator, storyteller, and creature inventor, Katie Risor has an eye for images that children will instantly connect with. While Katie is a freelance illustrator, she also tells her own stories and is working on developing her own books, and currently, she’s working on a graphic novel. She paints in both gouache and watercolor, and he style is utterly vibrant, whimsical, and beautifully detailed.
Francesca Filomena | @francesca_filomena_illustrator
Francesca Filomena is an Italian illustrator that genuinely cares about the emotions and feelings that come from her designs, as they are soft, approachable, and often feature muted hues. There’s a sense of brave wanderlust that seeps from her illustrations, a feeling that many kids can relate to or feel inspired by. Give this account a follow if you need a touch of heartwarming inspiration.
Talitha | @talithashipmanillustration
Inspired by nature, Talitha’s illustrations and paintings focus on wild animals and wilder kids. Her vibrantly emotive paintings are sure to inspire inquisitiveness and imagination in those of all ages. Not only does her Instagram account showcase snapshots from works she’s done for children’s books, but she shares quick behind-the-scenes sketches, sightings of her work in bookstores, and personal art explorations. Be sure to follow this account if you’re at all interested in drawing; whether it is for children’s books or not, you’ll indeed find some inspiration to pick up a pencil and draw.
Basia Tran Fader | @basiatran
Based in Jersey City, Basia Tran is a Polish-Vietnamese children’s book illustrator. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, so her skills are incredibly refined. But she doesn’t just illustrate books for the kids, as her client list includes ASPCA, Ben & Jerry’s, Hasbro, and Yves Rocher. Plus, she has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and Publisher’s Weekly. Throughout her Instagram feed, you’ll find relatable sentiments, stunning colors, and whimsical black and white sketches.