Mai Kemble

Mai Kemble – Designer

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


What's my process? I have been a freelance illustrator for 15 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.
Children’s Non-Fiction
Fantasy Holiday Picture Books
  • SCBWI Illustration "Cruising" Winner 2007
  • SCBWI Featured Artist 2007

Work experience

The Magnus Company

Feb, 2022 — Jun, 2022 (4 months)

Illustrator for picture book Sloane in the City by Jade Ogunnaike

Child Like Faith Children's Books LLC

Jul, 2021 — Mar, 2022 (8 months)

Illustrator for picture book This Is Me by Larry S. Glover

Lil' Oil Publishing

May, 2021 — Apr, 2022 (11 months)

Illustrator for picture book Chasing Chase by Sherryce St. Amant

White Feather Interpreting, LLC

Mar, 2021 — May, 2021 (2 months)

Illustrator for picture book I Don't Like That! by Julie Balassa

DGS (KDP Kids Books)

Aug, 2020 — Apr, 2021 (8 months)

Illustrator for picture book Julianne and the Shaggy Dog by James Fogarty.

Ewonderment, LLC

Apr, 2020 — Aug, 2020 (4 months)

Illustrator for picture book Festival of the Elves by Angeli Elliott


Jan, 2019 — Jul, 2019 (6 months)

Illustrator for picture book My Dragon by Monique Nelsen.


I Don't Like That!

Tales, White Feather

Chasing Chase

St. Amant, Sherryce

My Dragon

Works, Tubby

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 ... 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 ... read more
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.

Mai has 25 reviews





Britt G.

Britt G.

Jan, 2024

I have worked with Mai twice now and am always impressed and grateful for the quality of work, ease of collaboration and communication, and her overall kindness. She truly has it all and I would recommend her to anyone and everyone!
Cedric F.

Cedric F.

Nov, 2023

Mai is an exceptional illustrator. She’s talented, professional and easy to work with. Mai also has a pleasant disposition. Our entire team has high regard for Mai and looks forward to working with her again.
Haydee D.

Haydee D.

Nov, 2023

I was happy to see my thoughts and ideas come to life upon seeing her sketch. Mai's years of experience shine through with each collaboration she is a professional in every way.
Anna M.

Anna M.

Oct, 2023

Mai is a wonderful illustrator and a joy to work with! She is talented and originates great ideas, yet is responsive to your ideas as well and the result is a perfect collaboration. I am so pleased with the illustrations for my book, and I am delighted to work with her again on the next one!
Carsen K.

Carsen K.

Jun, 2023

Mai gave open-handedly of her time and ingenuity in designing Goodbye Hospital. Her beautifully hand drawn illustrations helped bring this project into existence. I would certainly recommend collaborating with Mai.

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