Meet Illustrator Gary Kelley

Read a short Q&A with Creative Editions’ award-winning illustrator, Gary Kelley.

Q: If you could tell your younger professional self anything, what would it be?

A: Maintain your passion for handmade, not digital, artwork.

Q: What was your favorite thing about school as a kid?

A: Studying history. And art styles.

Q: When you’re not making art, what are your favorite things to do?

A: Family, friends, inspirational art. Connections.

Q: What do you do to overcome a creative block?

A: Hope to find a way to make it creative.

Q: What sparked your interest or inspired you to illustrate children’s books?

A: Variety. Visual, classic storytelling.

Q: Who or what has been a major influence on your illustrating style?

A: Fine art history inspiring illustration.


Q: What would you have been if not an illustrator?

A: Graphic designer, writer maybe.


Q: Why does reading excite you?

A: Interpreting words that may inspire visuals.


Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring children’s book illustrators?

A: Handmade art. Storytelling visually.


Q: What do you find most appealing about your career in illustrating children’s books?

A: Creative Editions!


Q: What are the biggest challenges about a career in illustrating children’s books?

A: The digital world. Fading art history.


Q: In terms of your career, where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

A: Hopefully still motivated.


Recent Picture Books by Gary Kelley

A Song for the Cosmos

Virginia Was a Spy

Harlem Hellfighters

And the Soldiers Sang

Shop Kelley’s Collection here.


Posted January 2023

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