Mai Kemble

Mai Kemble - Designer

Lancaster, CA, USA

My art is hand-drawn and digitally colored. I love to marry illustrations to text- making each story unique for a lasting childhood memory.

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Overview

What's my process? I have been a freelance illustrator for 12 years. My hand-drawn images have been featured in picture books, board books, clothing, websites, etc.. I have experience designing these books from sketch to finish as digital files that are print-ready. Each project begins by reading the manuscript and learning what the writer's vision is for their story. After creating sketches of the characters I can then move on to layout or a book dummy. The cover is usually last because it needs to sum up the overall tone of the story. If needed I can also place text and other elements needed such as barcodes and publishing information. Each stage is shown to my clients for approval before moving forward. I find that this method works best so there is an initial look established for the entire book and there are no surprises.

What do I get out of it? I aim to evoke emotions from readers and give each story a real personality and message. I have loved picture books since revisiting them in college while studying illustration and have been a serious collector. I love studying their rhythm and how the writer and illustrator can perfect how to best convey the story. They are the ultimate medium to reach a child's own private world of thought and imagination. I want the books I work on to reach that viewer's heart. I take these projects seriously (yes, even the humor books) and approach them as cherished creations by each writer.

What do you get? You will get the absolute best attempt at making your story be the best it can be- full of heart and endearing images that hopefully will stay with the reader for life.
Fiction
Fantasy
Holiday
Picture Books

Awards

  • SCBWI Illustration "Cruising" Winner 2007
  • SCBWI Featured Artist 2007

Work experience

Illustrator

Child Like Faith Children's Books LLC
April, 2020 – July, 2020 (3 months)

Illustrator for picture book Angels All Around Us by Larry S. Glover

Illustrator

Ewonderment, LLC
April, 2020 – August, 2020 (4 months)

Illustrator for picture book Festival of the Elves by Angeli Elliott

Illustrator

Bowker
January, 2019 – July, 2019 (6 months)

Illustrator for picture book My Dragon by Monique Nelsen.

Illustrator

Kayu Interactive
May, 2013 – January, 2014 (8 months)

Illustrator for interactive eBook Lucy Grace Rotten! written by Julia Walton.

Illustrator

Epigraph Books
February, 2012 – August, 2012 (6 months)

Illustrator for picture book Will Santa Come Tonight by Joan Dinan.

Illustrator

Outskirts Press
August, 2011 – January, 2012 (5 months)

Illustrator for picture book Lou Lou by Safia Guerras.

Illustrator

Epigraph Publishing
July, 2011 – August, 2011 (about 1 month)

Illustrator for picture book The Little Weaver: A Christmas Story by Alex J. Stokas.

Illustrator

AuthorHouse
May, 2011 – June, 2011 (about 1 month)

Illustrator for picture book Cassie and the Cavity Witch by Julie Sullivan.

Illustrator

Downtown Bookworks
December, 2009 – July, 2010 (7 months)

Illustrator for picture book I'm So Not Wearing A Dress! written by Julie Merberg.

Illustrator

Paulist Press
September, 2009 – September, 2010 (about 1 year)

Illustrator for picture book I Can Speak Bully written by Kevin Morrison.

Illustrator

Charlesbridge
July, 2008 – September, 2010 (about 2 years)

Illustrator for picture book Polka-dot Saves Kindergarten by Catherine Urdahl.

Illustrator

Red Cygnet Press
September, 2007 – September, 2008 (about 1 year)

Illustrator for two picture books, The Moon and the Night Sweeper (written by Mai S. Kemble) and Taylor's Birthday Party (written by Hana Khan).

Portfolio (12 selected works)

The Moon and the Night Sweeper

Mai S. Kemble

Few people know that, if you wake in the middle of the night--between a "tick" and "tock" on the clock--the Moon will invite you on a magical adventure. You'll be whisked upward, through the night sky, and you will find a fellow they call the "Night Sweeper." It's the Night Sweeper's job to sweep away all the stardust that falls from the heavens and to make sure all the roofs are clean by sunrise.

Few people know that, if you wake in the middle of the night--between a "tick" and "tock" on the clock--the Moon will invite you on a magical adventure. You'll be whisked upward, through the night sky, and you will find a fellow they call the "Night Sweeper." It's the Night Sweeper's job to sweep away all the stardust that falls from the heavens and to make sure all the roofs are clean by sunrise.

I Can Speak Bully

Kevin Morrison

A tool for parents to use in bringing their children on the journey of understanding bullies and how to help them find the friendship and acceptance they are truly looking for.

A tool for parents to use in bringing their children on the journey of understanding bullies and how to help them find the friendship and acceptance they are truly looking for.

Polka-Dot Fixes Kindergarten

Catherine Urdahl

It's Polka-dot's first day of kindergarten and armed with her trusty fix-it kit, she can handle anything—just like her Grandpa. When she gets to school, though, everything goes wrong. Her name-tag has her baby name on it and she makes a mess when she tries to paint! Duct tape, runny soap, and dotted bandages just aren't enough to fix her kindergarten catastrophes. And, when it comes to dealing... read more

It's Polka-dot's first day of kindergarten and armed with her trusty fix-it kit, she can handle anything—just like her Grandpa. When she gets to school, though, everything goes wrong. Her name-tag has her baby name on it and she makes a mess when she tries to paint! Duct tape, runny soap, and dotted bandages just aren't enough to fix her kindergarten catastrophes. And, when it comes to dealing... read more

Taylor's Birthday Party

Hana Khan

Baker and Taylor are two young cats who are the best of friends. When Taylor's birthday approaches, Baker decides to throw his pal a special surprise birthday party. Being a cat, however, makes many birthday tasks quite difficult. When Taylor finally arrives, Baker must explain that the party he planned has been a disaster. Baker learns, however, that -- no matter what went wrong -- it was the... read more

Baker and Taylor are two young cats who are the best of friends. When Taylor's birthday approaches, Baker decides to throw his pal a special surprise birthday party. Being a cat, however, makes many birthday tasks quite difficult. When Taylor finally arrives, Baker must explain that the party he planned has been a disaster. Baker learns, however, that -- no matter what went wrong -- it was the... read more

Enchanted Reindeer Treats Boxed Gift Set

Joan Dinan

-Enjoy a delightful new Christmas family tradition! -Bring your family together to read this lovely storybook and sprinkle Enchanted Reindeer Treats outside your home on Christmas Eve -Children and adults alike will love the endearing story of 'Will Santa Come Tonight?' by Joan Dinan -Includes a golden satchel full of Enchanted Reindeer Treats that your children can sprinkle outside to guide S... read more

-Enjoy a delightful new Christmas family tradition! -Bring your family together to read this lovely storybook and sprinkle Enchanted Reindeer Treats outside your home on Christmas Eve -Children and adults alike will love the endearing story of 'Will Santa Come Tonight?' by Joan Dinan -Includes a golden satchel full of Enchanted Reindeer Treats that your children can sprinkle outside to guide S... read more

I'm So Not Wearing a Dress!

A fun (inexpensive!) picture book for the un-fancy Nancy’s.Shelby likes to play sports in her favorite red sneakers. She likes to dig for worms with her best friend, Nate. She does not want to have tea parties with her next door neighbor, Sophie. And when she is asked to be a flower girl in her aunt’s wedding, she knows one thing for sure: SHE IS SO NOT WEARING A DRESS! A spunky heroine, adora... read more

A fun (inexpensive!) picture book for the un-fancy Nancy’s.Shelby likes to play sports in her favorite red sneakers. She likes to dig for worms with her best friend, Nate. She does not want to have tea parties with her next door neighbor, Sophie. And when she is asked to be a flower girl in her aunt’s wedding, she knows one thing for sure: SHE IS SO NOT WEARING A DRESS! A spunky heroine, adora... read more

Lou Lou

Guerras, Safia, Kemble, Mai S

My Dragon

Works, Tubby, Nelsen, Monique, Kemble, Mai S.

The Little Weaver: A Christmas Story

Stokas, Alex J, Kemble, Mai S

Festival of the Elves The Magic Around You

Elliott, Angeli J, Kemble, Mai S

Mai has 2 reviews

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

Angeli Elliott
Mai is an amazingly talented illustrator. She created a beautiful and wonderful world of elves for our Christmas book - Festival of the Elves. The detail and color usage is amazing. Each character comes to life on the page. Mai is highly creative and every scene enhanced the story and the message. She is an absolute pleasure to work, highly dependable and lots of fun. Look forward to working wi...
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Angeli Elliott, September 2020


Kathy Kavanagh
Where do I start ? Mai is AMAZING!!! What a talent!!! We are so thankful she is illustrating our book. She created the most magical character for us and has such fabulously creative ideas for the rest of the book!!! Mai is such a gifted artist and so enthusiastic and pleasant and just a joy to work with! Kathy

Kathy Kavanagh, July 2020

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