Katie Risor

Katie Risor - Designer

San Antonio, TX, USA

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

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Overview

Hello!

I'm an experienced illustrator, designer, and maker, trying to get all the weird stuff in my head out into the world. I strive to make unique illustrations that connect with hearts like mine, that yearn for the wonder of endless possibility in the world. Visual storytelling is my foremost goal, so I love books that let me play with the story. I've done books, covers, editorial, layout design, personal commissions, and product design. So far I've illustrated 6 picture books, a smattering of cover design, middle grade books, and I've also done work for magazines, local brands, and run my own etsy store. I've been successfully freelancing for two years, and I look forward to what's to come!

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 and creating character designs, storyboards, color comps, final artwork, then layout design, cover design, and typesetting. 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.

Project Wishlist

I absolutely love picture books and visual storytelling of all kinds, so I spend a lot of time studying the craft, learning about trends in publishing, and furthering my education in the world of illustration, children’s books, and publishing. 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. So I’m looking for projects that will really let me flex my creative muscles and a partnership with a fellow professional who understands the nuances and complexities of illustration. 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

Some of My Inspirations:

Here are a few of my favorite picture books:

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Where the Wild Things Are
Jumangi
There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly
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


Testimonials:

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"

Katie was a great illustrator to work with in development of our children's book. I say our children's book because she was so integral in developing the illustrations to depict the characters, the actions in each scene, and the general flow of the book in terms of illustrations. She proposed a large majority of the illustration formats used in the book and did an amazing job with using watercolor to achieve a really fantastic illustration effect. I'd work with Katie again in a second and may develop a sequel to our first book.
- Jon Carlson, "When Mommy Caught a Dragon"

Katie's work is impeccable! Really beautiful renderings that brought the story to life for my children's book! She was also very responsive to any needs or concerns that I had. I was really satisfied with my experience and would hire her again!
-
Jarita, "Mason and the Magic Cape"
Languages
English
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels
Coming of Age
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Non-Fiction
Nature

Certifications

  • SCBWI Member

Awards

  • Best Capstone - The University of Texas at Dallas 2018

Work experience

Designer

Rivet
December, 2018 – March, 2020 (about 1 year)

Remote e-book designer.

Illustrator

Self-employed
March, 2018 – Present (over 4 years)

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

Portfolio (11 selected works)

There's An Alligator in the Elevator

Ellen Ryan, Maryann Heidingsfelder

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 fun fantasy that helps children see there are worse things in life than a little needle prick. Order your copy today and enjoy the ride! ... read more

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 fun fantasy that helps children see there are worse things in life than a little needle prick. Order your copy today and enjoy the ride! ... read more

Red Ted The Magical Melon Man

Andrew Veach

"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 tricks up his sleeve, and a few valuable lessons, that might just change Andy's life forever.

"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 tricks up his sleeve, and a few valuable lessons, that might just change Andy's life forever.

Casey's Kite

Miller, Rick, Risor, Katie

Lessons from a Birdbrain: Summer, Ohio

McDermott, Laura, Byram, John, Risor, Katie

A Giant Leap

Karthiga Moorthy

"All you need is a little push."Mama duck has started her count down. The little duckling is nervous about the jump. Will she find the courage to leap from the comforts of the nest into the wild? Home is sweet, but there is a lot to explore out of your comfort zone. Reading "A Giant Leap" aloud to children will encourage them to venture into new things they are hesitant to do. A little nudge a... read more

"All you need is a little push."Mama duck has started her count down. The little duckling is nervous about the jump. Will she find the courage to leap from the comforts of the nest into the wild? Home is sweet, but there is a lot to explore out of your comfort zone. Reading "A Giant Leap" aloud to children will encourage them to venture into new things they are hesitant to do. A little nudge a... read more

Magicmals: Gone Rogue

Enciso, April

You Can Do Anything!

Hattamer, Steven, Vitale, Brooke, Budnick, Stacy Heller

That's How It Was: Operation Finders Keepers

Pacheco, Hazel, Risor, Katie

Concho Folks 1800s Fiction: Short Stories

Pam Backlund

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 reading this book you will know something about the Concho Valley and the nation as a whole—in the late 1800s.During that time period, We... 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 reading this book you will know something about the Concho Valley and the nation as a whole—in the late 1800s.During that time period, We... read more

When Mommy Caught A Dragon

Jon Carlson

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 dragon. Based on true events...with some embellishment on the type of reptile.

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 dragon. Based on true events...with some embellishment on the type of reptile.

Katie has 16 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Kristen King Jaiven
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...
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Kristen King Jaiven, March 2022

Katie Risor
Thank you Kristen!! Your book was a blast and is one of my favorites to date :)

Reply from Katie Risor


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

Hazel Rosenthal, October 2021

Katie Risor
Thank you, Hazel!

Reply from Katie Risor


Rachel LaMonica
Katie did a beautiful job on our children's book! Her design really makes our interior pages pop and the layout of the different pieces kept everything organized. She was instrumental in bringing our project to life! I will be partnering with Katie again in the future. :)

Rachel LaMonica, September 2021


M K
Katie's work is awesome. I have received many compliements on Katie's illustrations. She is easy to work with and understand my vision. I hope to work with Katie again.

M K, July 2021

Katie Risor
Thanks Marjorie! It was a pleasure! Hope we can work together again some time!

Reply from Katie Risor


Michelle Colpo
Wonderful to work with! Katie is detail-oriented and flexible with cover designs. This being my first book, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Katie made the process beyond easy to understand. For future books, I will be seeking Katie's help again!

Michelle Colpo, February 2021

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