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.
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.
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 www.majaandersen.com
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. rob-peters.com
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. blaynefox.com
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. ebaddeley.com
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. www.loisbradley.com
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. phyllisharris.com
Il Sung Na is an author/illustrator and illustration teacher. He lives with his wife and small dog in Kansas City, MO. ilsungna.com
Heather Bell is a picture book author and illustrator. When she’s not illustrating or writing, Heather searches out story ideas as an undercover school bus driver. heatherbellbooks.com
Sandra Ure Giffin is an author and illustrator. Her creative work depicts our relationships with each other and our planet. She lives in St. Louis, MO. instagram.com/sandraugriffin
Wendy Leach is a picture book author and illustrator. She lives and works in Overland Park, KS. artofwendyleach.com
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. john-hare.squarespace.com
Daniel Miyares is a picture book author and illustrator. Some of his books include FLOAT, NIGHT OUT, THAT IS MY DREAM and BRING ME A ROCK! He currently lives in Lenexa, KS with his wife, their two wonderful children, and a dog named Violet. danielmiyares.com
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. violetlemay.com
Morgan Hutcherson is an illustrator, graphic designer, and author. Morgan is currently enjoying first-time-homeownership in Maplewood, Missouri with her rescue Corgi Scout, and her long-time boyfriend, Rutger. morganhutcherson.com
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. daynesislen.com
Stephen T. Johnson is an author and illustrator of many children’s books, including ALPHABET CITY, a Caldecott Honor and a New York Times Best Illustrated book of the year. Look for his upcoming book MUSIC IS, which is slated to be published in the fall of 2020. stephentjohnson.com
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) is a writer and artist specializing in illustration for children, special commissions, fiction (middle grade and below), and poetry. Kate lives in downtown Kansas City, Missouri with three cats, a bundle of rats, her husband and father. snawfus-tracks.com
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. jeanniespaintings.com
Polly Alice McCann is an author-illustrator, critical writing professor and managing editor of Flying Ketchup Press. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri. pollymccann.com
Joe Mohr is the author/Illustrator of ROBOT+BIKE=KITTEN: 34 OF JOEM’s POEMS. He is also a cartoonist, dad, hubby and bicycle lover. Joe lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife and three kids. joemohr.com
Daniel Wiseman is the Illustrator of over 16 children’s books. Daniel also hosts a podcast with his friend Rob Bennet called REMOTE with Rob & Dan about working remotely. He lives with his wife and two sons in Knoxville, Tennessee. danieldraws.com
Lisa Harkrader is the author of many children’s books, including the award-winning middle grade books AIRBALL: MY LIFE IN BRIEFS and THE ADVENTURES OF BEANBOY. She lives with her family in Kansas. ldharkrader.com
Lynn Alpert is a writer, illustrator and graphic designer. She can usually be found reading, writing or drawing in St. Louis, Missouri, where she lives with her husband. lynnalpert.com
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. kathyjperry.com
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. edkoehler.com
Kim Wilson is an illustrator, designer, artist and writer. She runs the Dittmer ArtBarn, which offers year-round art classes for children and adults. Kim lives just outside of St. Louis in Dittmer, Missouri. kimwilsonillustration.com
Karen B. Jones’ illustration work has been featured in magazines, books, and the educational market. She lives in living in Olathe, Kansas with her husband and two daughters. karenbjones.com
Brad Sneed has illustrated more than twenty picture books. He enjoys visiting schools to talk with students about illustrating picture books. Brad lives near Kansas City with his wife and daughter. bradsneed.com
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. deborahzemke.com