Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Featured Illustrator

Maja Andersen
July 2021 Featured Illustrator

Maja Andersen’s inspiration comes from retro-Scandinavian modern design, folk art, flamenco dance, a wide range of eclectic music and travel. She worked for Hallmark Cards for over 30 years creating illustrations for greeting cards, apparel, gifts, home decor, memory keeping albums and books. She’s illustrated books for Chronicle Books, Pelican Publishing Company and Image Books Holland. Maja also runs Four Eyes Illustration, a collaborative Etsy shop with her illustrator husband, Tom Patrick.


You’ve illustrated the Once Upon A Time… series of board books coming out this year. Tell us a little about that project and how you came to be the illustrator.

At the time, I was represented by Advocate Art UK. I was chosen to illustrate the Once Upon a Time series based on my samples in my Advocate Art portfolio. I worked with designers from Raspberry Books on the series which was published by Dorling Kindersley.


Can you share any details of your illustration process for these books?

I sent the sketches to the designers at Raspberry Books and they would get approvals from DK publishing. I would then make fixes/adjustments before moving on to the finished art. Then we repeated the same procedure with the finished art. There were some color tweaks and other fixes before DK approved everything to go to print.


How long did you have to illustrate each book?

The deadline shifted a bit, but it was approximately 8-10 months for all 4 titles: Once Upon a Time . . . there was an Old Woman, Once Upon a Time . . . there was a Little Bird, Once Upon a Time . . . there was a Greedy King, Once Upon a Time . . . there was a Thirsty Frog.

How did you get signed with Bright Agency? How long have you been with them?

I approached the Bright Agency to see if they wanted to represent me. They asked for 10 samples of my work, then I signed with them. I’ve been with them for about a year.



Are you planning on any book launch events to celebrate Once Upon A Time…?

Not at this time, but now I’m thinking I should! 😉


When should we start looking for the Once Upon A Time… books to purchase?

The titles have different release dates: . . . Little Bird and . . . Greedy King are available for purchase on Amazon on July 6 of this year . . . Thirsty Frog will be available on Sept. 21 and . . . Old Lady will be available on Nov. 2.


What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a puzzle for Djeco and some board books for Image Books in the early fall. My husband Tom Patrick and I have a collaborative Etsy shop, Four Eyes Illustration, which keeps me busy, too!

To learn more about Maja, visit


Previous Featured Illustrators

Rob Peters
has worked with a number of self-published authors and worked on a variety of licensed sport books for the Kansas City Chiefs, KU Jayhawks, and others. He lives with his wife Janie and four kids in Topeka, KS.

Blayne Fox
has illustrated books for Scholastic Publishing, Brown Books Publishing, Double Ink Publishing, and Benchmark Publishing, as well as several self-published authors. Blayne currently lives in St. Louis with her partner and three cats.

Elizabeth Baddeley
is the New York Times Best selling illustrator of I DISSENT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes her Mark. She resides in a historic neighborhood in Kansas City with her husband and young son.

Lois Bradley

Lois Bradley
is an author, graphic designer and visual artist working in acrylics, watercolor, pen/ink and mixed media. She served as ARA for the New Mexico chapter of SCBWI from 2008 through 2012. She now lives in Kansas City, MO.

Phyllis Harris

Phyllis Harris
is an author/illustrator who has illustrated over 35 children’s books. Her debut book as an author/illustrator, GIFT SHOP BEAR is scheduled for publication on Oct. 5, 2021. She lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and pup, Brinkley.

Il Sung Na

Il Sung Na
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Heather Bell

Heather Bell
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Sandra Ure Griffin

Sandra Ure Giffin
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Wendy Leach

Wendy Leach
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John Hare

John Hare
is a picture book author and illustrator. His latest book FIELD TRIP TO THE OCEAN DEEP comes out Sept. 8, 2020. He lives in Gladstone, MO with his wife and two boys.

Daniel Miyares
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Violet Lemay
has illustrated nearly 40 books for children, several of which she also wrote. Her husband’s job as a PGA teaching pro has taken her family all over the world. Her family lives in the St. Louis area, so Missouri is Violet’s home base.

Morgan Hutcherson
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Dayne Sislen

Dayne Sislen
has enjoyed a career as an art director and an instructor in Design Graphics and Illustration at Maryville University. After retirement, she reinvented herself as a children’s book illustrator. Dayne lives in St. Louis with her husband Don and their wee Scottish Terrier, Ghillis.

Stephen T. Johnson
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Heather Hatch
is a writer and illustrator. She teaches art classes and volunteers on the board of her local art museum. She lives with her family on an Ozark, Missouri farm with a Big Red Barn and a chicken-coop-turned art studio.

K.L.B. Barsotti (Kate)
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Jeanne Conway
has written and illustrated many children’s picture books. She has also been an art teacher in elementary and secondary schools. Jeanne lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Polly Alice McCann
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Joe Mohr
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Daniel Wiseman
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Lisa Harkrader
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Lynn Alpert
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Kathy L. Perry
is an author, illustrator, speaker and publisher at Chicadee Words. A former elementary teacher, Kathy still wants to make a positive impact in today’s youth. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Ed Koehler
is an illustrator living in St. Louis and working nationwide, primarily for the Christian publishing market, creating art for children’s books, curriculum, activity books, and a variety of kid-friendly products.

Kim Wilson
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Karen B. Jones’
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Brad Sneed
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Deborah Zemke
has written and/or illustrated more than fifty books for younger readers. These include picture books, chapter books, drawing books, early readers, and humor books. She lives in Columbia, Missouri.