Meet the Illustrator

Holly Meade

Portrait of Holly Meade

Holly Meade often illustrates children's books by creating collages. First she comes up with a sketch she likes. Then she cuts or tears colored paper and puts the pieces together to form pictures. Finally, she adds detail to the shapes with ink, paint, or colored pencil. The hardest part is making the sketches, she says. "They involve answering a lot of important questions, like what to take from the text to the picture, what to add to the picture that's not in the text, how to compose the picture in the most exciting and pleasing way, how to stay true to the spirit of the story."

Meade says her mind "feels its way along" as she begins working with the colored paper. "I find it difficult, but more like serious play than serious work," she says.

Holly Meade looks forward to the "accidents" that often reveal something new to her: "The shape I cut off and around from the shape I wanted ends up being the most interesting… that odd shape on the floor discarded two days ago leads me to a new idea I hadn't thought of." Have your "mistakes" ever led you to get new ideas and create new things?

Photography Credit


Other Books Written and Illustrated by Holly Meade

  • John Willy and Freddy McGee

Other Books Illustrated by Holly Meade

  • This Is the Hat: A Story in Rhyme
    (written by Nancy Van Laan)
  • Rata-Pata-Scata-Fata: A Caribbean Story
    (written by Phillis Gershator)
  • Small Green Snake
    (written by Libba Moore Gray)
  • Hush! A Thai Lullaby
    (written by Minfong Ho)
  • Pies in the Oven
    (written by Betty G. Birney)
  • Cocoa Ice
    (written by Diane Appelbaum)
  • Steamboat! The Story of Captain Blanche Leathers
    (written by Judith Heide Gilliland)
  • When Papa Snores
    (written by Melinda Long)