Leah Palmer Preiss

Leah Palmer Preiss - Designer

Raleigh, NC, USA

I'm a professional freelance illustrator & calligrapher for fantasy & children's books. ~~ I love to make words & images dance!

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Overview

I'm a professional freelance illustrator & calligrapher with extensive experience in book & magazine publishing, especially fantasy & children's books.

I can create imaginative & meticulous cover art (both digitally & with traditional media) as well as hand-lettering your title, to make your cover really stand out.

My illustrations and calligraphy have been selected for numerous art & design annuals & competitions, including Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators, Print, Spectrum, Visual Club, and RSVP. Please see my work experience for a partial list of past clients.

My cover fees start at $1000 & my process usually takes 6-8 weeks from start to finish. I'm not currently taking on fully illustrated picture books due to schedule limitations, but will consider interior spot illustrations as well as covers.

Thanks so much for considering me for your book!
Leah
Languages
English
Fiction
Fantasy
Humor & Comedy
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Non-Fiction
Nature

Work experience

Freelance Illustrator & Calligrapher

Self-employed
June, 1980 – Present (over 42 years)

I've been working as an illustrator & title lettering artist for over 30 years. My illustrations and calligraphy have appeared in numerous art & design annuals, including Communication Arts, Society of Illustrators, Print, Spectrum, Visual Club, and RSVP.

CLIENTS INCLUDE:

Book Publishers:

HarperCollins; Hyperion; Disney; Little, Brown; Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt; Penguin; Random House; Candlewick; Macmillan; Viking; Henry Holt; Algonquin; David R. Godine; Penguin NZ; Hazard Press (NZ); Tarn Publishing (NZ)

Periodicals:

New York Times; Utne Reader; GAMES; Urbanite; Santa Fe Reporter; Horticulture; Eating Well; Woman’s Day; Delta Sky; Cricket; Spider; Ladybug; Cicada; Cobblestone; Weekly Reader

Portfolio (6 selected works)

The Old Man and the Cat

Anthony Holcroft

This is a stunningly illustrated story told in the style of a traditional fairy tale. An old man who lives near a forest looks and wonders at a tree full of birds on the river bank. He longs for them to come near him but they always stay away. When the old man makes a magic flute, all the birds of the forest flock to him, accompanied by insects, lizards, and the fish from the lake. But magic h... read more

This is a stunningly illustrated story told in the style of a traditional fairy tale. An old man who lives near a forest looks and wonders at a tree full of birds on the river bank. He longs for them to come near him but they always stay away. When the old man makes a magic flute, all the birds of the forest flock to him, accompanied by insects, lizards, and the fish from the lake. But magic h... read more

The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal)

Kelly Barnhill

Winner of the 2017 Newbery Award The New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016 Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016 2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Cho... read more

Winner of the 2017 Newbery Award The New York Times Bestseller An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade Book of 2016 A New York Public Library Best Book of 2016 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2016 An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2016 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2016 Named to KirkusReviews’ Best Books of 2016 2017 Booklist Youth Editors’ Cho... read more

Illuminate: A Gilded Wings Novel, Book One

Aimee Agresti

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she isawarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of agroup of gorgeous strangers: the powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; hersecond-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff ofglamazons called The Outfit.As Haven begins falling for Luci... read more

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything changes when she isawarded a prestigious internship at a posh Chicago hotel under the watchful eyes of agroup of gorgeous strangers: the powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; hersecond-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff ofglamazons called The Outfit.As Haven begins falling for Luci... read more

Carmer and Grit, Book One: The Wingsnatchers

Sarah Jean Horwitz

A stunning debut about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess who must vanquish the mechanical monsters that stalk the streets and threaten the faerie kingdom. Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going und... read more

A stunning debut about a magician’s apprentice and a one-winged princess who must vanquish the mechanical monsters that stalk the streets and threaten the faerie kingdom. Aspiring inventor and magician’s apprentice Felix Carmer III would rather be tinkering with his latest experiments than sawing girls in half on stage, but with Antoine the Amazifier’s show a tomato’s throw away from going und... read more

Venturess

Betsy Cornwell

The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await... read more

The young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy-tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible stepfamily, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await... read more

A World Divided: Monoflufee Book One

Rebekah Clipper

The Kowalski family was a normal, middle-class family until the night of the "incident". From that day forward, Caitlin Kowalski is thrown into a depression so all-consuming it threatens to tear her family apart. Her husband, Henry, is trying his best to hold it all together, but with his wife shrinking away from his smallest touch, he's on the verge of giving up.In order to combat the growing... read more

The Kowalski family was a normal, middle-class family until the night of the "incident". From that day forward, Caitlin Kowalski is thrown into a depression so all-consuming it threatens to tear her family apart. Her husband, Henry, is trying his best to hold it all together, but with his wife shrinking away from his smallest touch, he's on the verge of giving up.In order to combat the growing... read more

Leah has 8 reviews

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

Jamie Ryan
Leah is the best!! She brought my book cover to life in a way I never though possible. The hidden details showed just how much thought went into the project. She is a real pro. She delivered a thoughtfully crafted masterpiece despite the juxtaposing themes other artists might have struggled to convey. She read my book and kept the cover honest. After hiring Leah, I have a truly enchanting cove...
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Jamie Ryan, November 2022


Kevin Klein
If more than 5 stars were possible in each aspect Leah's work, that's what I would give her. Superlatively talented, a careful listener, clear and punctual in communication, and exceptional in creating meticulously high-quality work within time constraints. Her beautiful lettering on our book cover speaks the proverbial thousand words.

Kevin Klein, October 2022


Geoffrey Wells
For the genius design and illustration of the cover I want to thank Leah for her countless design and illustration ideas that visually inform my mystery about drug smugglers and addiction. Her attention to detail and constant striving for excellence shines in her work. She is brilliant at what she does and a pleasure to work with.

Geoffrey Wells, July 2022

Leah Palmer Preiss
Thank you so much, Geoffrey! It has been an absolute pleasure working with you: your curiosity & willingness to explore, the visual resources you generously provided, your insights about the mood o...
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Reply from Leah Palmer Preiss


Julia Barr
Leah will elevate your book to the next level with her beautiful lettering. She makes the collaboration easy with her great people skills.

Julia Barr, November 2020


Henry Bouchot
I can't say enough about Leah. She's patient, kind, and incredibly talented. Hands down the best artist I've worked with. She is simply the best when it comes to working with medieval themes and calligraphy. She took the time to really understand what I wanted to convey with my book cover and came up with a concept that was better than anything I could have imagined.

Henry Bouchot, May 2020

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