Katie Risor

Katie Risor – Designer

Professional illustrator and designer, specializing in whimsical, storybook fantasy art and expressive characters.



**In 2023, I'd love to do more book covers and middle grade!**

I Illustrate and design kids books and my vibe is cozy, fantastical, whimsical, and a little goofy. Visual storytelling is my foremost goal, so I love books that let me play with the story. I've illustrated picture books, a smattering of cover design, middle grade books, and I've also done work for magazines, advertisements and local brands

I'm primarily a children's illustrator, with experience creating client books from start to finish. With my clients, I bring their story to life by taking their manuscript from words on a page to a published book. We go through creating character designs, storyboards, color comps, final artwork, then layout design, cover design, and typesetting. I also really enjoy art directing and formatting picture books and novels, especially middle grade and YA. I have experience with KDP and Ingram spark, so I'm happy to help new authors through the publishing process.

I am also working on my own projects and stories for publication. While I love bringing stories to life, my true dream is to be a storyteller.

Illustration Expertise:
Picture book and Middle Grade

Design Expertise:
Interior book formatting for KDP and Ingram etc
Picture book through YA
(I could format your interior file for an adult book, but please don't ask me to design a cover.)

Project Wishlist

I absolutely love picture books, visual storytelling of all kinds, and writing so I spend a lot of time studying the craft, A truly good picture book writes with both words and pictures, and I do my best work when I have the space to really dig into the visual and design possibilities. That being said, here’s a list of things I would love to have in my next project:

Text that has “gaps” for the illustration to fill in
A book with an interesting design concept
Fun and unexpected story concepts
Opportunity to design weird creatures or animals
soft, whimsical, quirky, funny, magical, storybook
Nature, forests, especially with a fantasy or “weird” twist
Stories about groups of friends

Favorite picture books:

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Where the Wild Things Are
Little Witch Hazel
A Pizza With Everything On It
Thunder pug

Comics, middle grade, animation, and other stuff:

The Moomin books and comics by Tove Jansson
Calvin and Hobbes
Be Prepared! by Vera Brosgol
The work of Hayao Miyazaki
The work of Brian Froud
Jim Henson and the Muppets
The work of James Gurney
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
Frog and Toad by Arnold Loebel


Katie was a true pleasure to work with on this project. As a first-time publisher, she showed extreme patience and helped walk me through the process step-by-step. It was painless! She also brought her creative ideas to the table from the minute we started and most importantly, brought to life the characters and story that I envisioned. Wouldn't hesitate to work with her again.
- Andrew Veach, "Red Ted and the Magical Melon Man"
Comics & Graphic Novels Coming of Age Middle Grade Middle Grade Fantasy Picture Books
  • Best Capstone - The University of Texas at Dallas 2018
  • SCBWI Member

Work experience


Dec, 2018 — Mar, 2020 (about 1 year)

Remote e-book designer.


Mar, 2018 — Present

I'm a freelance illustrator creating books, illustrations, and designs for clients and myself. Here are some of my books and projects:

Some books I've illustrated and designed on include:

Picture Books:
When Mommy Caught A Dragon
Red Ted the Magical Melon Man
There's an Alligator in the Elevator!
Casey's Kite
Mommy's Time

Middle Grade:
That's How it Was
Armstrong Adventures: Zoe's Purpose

Other clients:
Faygo - holiday add
Armed Forces Entertainment - illustrated booklet for Month of the Military Child
Little Lamb Books - book design for All God's Creatures


Mommy's Time

King Jaiven, Kristen

"Red Ted" is the story of Farmer Andy, a greedy melon farmer who thinks he knows it all. When his business is threatened, the only soul willing to help him is the mysterious and magical Red Ted who appears out of the dust on his tractor. Red Ted has a few tric... read more
Casey's Kite

Miller, Rick

There's An Alligator In The Elevator! Who would put that together with getting a shot? Well...this story does exactly that. JJ hates shots! When he finds out he has to get one the next day, his dream life explodes into a tale that will curl your hair. It's a f... read more
When Mommy Caught a Dragon is a delightful, child's interpretation of a dragon's intrusion into a magical family's home, which causes all sorts of mayhem. Chases ensue, spells are cast, cats are humbled, and children "assist" in wrangling the out of control dr... read more
You will find twenty-six stories in this book of almost one hundred human characters. In one sitting you will fondly embrace one story’s characters, setting, problem(s) and solution(s). You might find yourself liking some stories and disliking others. But by r... read more

Katie has 19 reviews





Zachary C.

Zachary C.

Jun, 2023

Great sketches!
Roberta G.

Roberta G.

Apr, 2023

Writing and publishing a children's chapter book comes with its challenges. Katie Risor stuck with the project to the end, turning out a beautiful book - inside and out - which I am very pleased with. I would highly recommend Katie.
Emil B.

Emil B.

Nov, 2022

Katie was very helpful and knowledgeable. I asked her to evaluate the design and she was able to perform a comprehensive review and identify all deficiencies. Great job!
Katie R.
Thanks, Emil! Glad I could help and I hope your book launch goes well!
Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Mar, 2022

Katie is creative, talented, and flexible. Katie's skill and beautiful illustrations brought my book to life. Katie provided both illustration and book/cover design services. I loved collaborating with Katie because she tackles her projects with patience - encouraging dialogue and open idea exchange to ensure we found the best options when we ran into design decisions to be made. This was my f...
Read more
Katie R.
Thank you Kristen!! Your book was a blast and is one of my favorites to date :)
Hazel R.

Hazel R.

Oct, 2021

This was my first book. Katie went over and beyond to help me through the process. Katie excels in talent, experience, and patience!
Katie R.
Thank you, Hazel!

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Katie and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Katie

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Mike Ellott

Mike E.

I’m a Creative based in Sydney Australia, with over 25-years experience in editorial and book publishing design.

Sydney NSW, Australia

100% reply rate

View profile
Izzy Bean

Izzy B.

Professional children's book illustrator for over 15 years, specialising in beautifully detailed illustrations full of life and emotion

Doncaster, UK

100% reply rate

View profile
Sandra Muller

Sandra M.

illustrator specializing in committed contents (Feminism, inclusivity, LGBTQ+, ecology)

Paris, France

100% reply rate

View profile