McKenzie Young

McKenzie Young – Designer

Freelance illustrator with over six years of experience, a whimsical style and love of children's stories!

Overview

You and I have a unique story to share. My career as an illustrator has been driven by the desire to express those stories in a way that feels approachable and genuine (with a dash of silliness and fun). Kids are smart and their need for authentic stories is something that inspires me every day. My creative journey has taken me on quite a ride, including everything from children's book illustrations to shaping corporate branding, marketing materials, and even immersive video game content. Over time, I've been fortunate to team up with some fantastic clients and employers, such as Owlcrate Jr, Twogether Studios (notably: The Adventure Zone: Bureau of Balance Expansion), Marnin Saylor, EBSCO, and more. Currently, I work as the Assistant Production Designer at Willamette Week, a noteworthy print newspaper in Portland, OR (yes, those still exist), while also getting to illustrate for clients all over the country.


In the world of children's books, I've poured my heart into "Oscar's Obsessions," a series designed to support teenagers dealing with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I've also dabbled in creating my own zines and have a thrilling upcoming project with Portland-based publisher, A Kids Book About. When I collaborate on a book project, I approach it as a joint storytelling venture. I'm all about making sure the author's voice shines through in the finished artwork. Together, we brainstorm ideas, sketch out our vision, and aim for that perfect emotional impact. I bring my digital tools to the table, creating a warm, friendly, and painterly approach to the art. I'm always up for a chat, so if you have a story to tell or a project in mind, don't hesitate to reach out. Let's create something incredible together! (My cats and I can't wait to hear from you).

Services
Fiction
Comics & Graphic Novels Middle Grade Picture Books
Languages
English
Awards
  • First Place - Best in Illustration 2022 - Awarded by the Society of Professional Journalism

Work experience

Willamette Week

Apr, 2022 — Present

Weekly production design, typography, and layout work for Portland's favorite alt-weekly newspaper.
Cover Illustration's and interior illustration work on a commission basis.

Self-employed

Nov, 2021 — Present

Freelance Illustration and Design services for a wide array of clients both local and nationally recognized.

George Fox University

Sep, 2019 — Nov, 2021 (about 2 years)

Illustration, Marketing Graphic Design, and Web Design for the marketing team of George Fox University. This role included everything from layout and type design to illustration for university publications, advertising, and web coding.

Soma Games

Dec, 2018 — Aug, 2019 (8 months)

Graphic Design and Marketing for the first officially licensed Redwall video game based on the books by Brian Jacques. Work was done in conjunction with Penguin Random House U.K. to build excitement around the release of The Lost Legends of Redwall and its sequels.

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