Stephen Stone

Stephen Stone - Designer

Derby, UK

Picture- Book Illustrator & Designer. Specialising in humour with character led stories.

Request a quote
Verified identity


Hello my name is Stephen Stone, most people call me Steve. I was born in the North East of England where we are known affectionately as Sandancers.

I now live and work in Derbyshire with my soulmate Claire and studio assistant Vincent Van Mog. ( A slightly aloof orange cat) He’s a master of colour!

My creative career began after I completed a degree in Fashion Design, working as a designer for children’s and corporate wear companies. After a while I took another direction and became a university lecturer for 12 years, teaching fashion design and visual communication to post and undergraduate students. During this time I completed a Masters in Visual Communication, specialising in Children’s Book Illustration.

Creating memorable character design is at the heart of my work with a passion to capture the essence of an authors words. I embrace all kinds of subject matter, it may be an emotive story that requires a sensitive approach or full of humour, in which my characters take on an animated look - adding an extra dimension to a story.
Colour is also passion and my design experience allows me to balance many different palettes in my work. I also illustrate in black and white and have recently worked on 2 YA Fiction Books, the second being published at the end of 2020, for innovative independent Irish publisher Little Island Books.

Having worked with many mainstream publishers, editors, art buyers and book designers, I thrive in a collaborative situation. Branching out into the independent publishing market has been an important step for me to take as an Illustrator - seeing it as a progression, a journey into a changing world that sees individuals working more closely together. There is a strong desire to connect on a personal level, to offer and share my professional and honed skills in art direction.

Formats provided are:
PDF Press Ready CMYK 300dpi- Suitable for POD sites such as KDP and Ingram Spark
PDF Digital RGB High Quality Copy
Please note: I DO NOT provide EPUB/Kindle Formatting.


A great picture book tells half of its story through illustrations. When working on my children's book, The Poopicorn, I looked through hundreds of illustrators' portfolios looking for an artist that could tell my story with emotive, humorous characters AND could also capture the beautiful landscape setting. Most illustrators cannot do both, but Steve Stone can! He made my characters come to life within landscapes that are so beautiful I want to frame them. Additionally, Steve is a wonderful human being who collaborates well and is really fun to work with. He listened and understood my vision for The Poopicorn. He even came up with side characters that I had not written into my story, but they made the book better! After my book was published, I continued to come up with marketing ideas. Steve enthusiastically supported my efforts and graciously handled my requests for illustrations in various formats. I cannot wait to work with him on my next book!
Hilary Whiton - (Indie Author)

''Steve is an extremely talented illustrator that offers valuable creative input every step of the way. This was my first children’s book, and the process was incredibly smooth from start to finish. If you’re looking for a quirky illustration style and for someone who’s reliable and professional, look no further.''
Gavin Stradi - Creative Director Tonic International

''Steve is a superb illustrator and far exceeded my expectations. I really enjoyed working with him. He not only designed and created amazing pieces of illustrative art, but made extremely helpful suggestions to guide some of the details of my project. Overall a great collaborator and a consummate professional. I highly recommend Steve.''
Robert Steinmetz (Indie Author)

''I hired Steve to illustrate a playful non-fiction picture book for Charlesbridge called Bugs Don’t Hug: Six-Legged Parents and Their Kids, due out on September 18th, 2018. I was drawn to his use of color and texture, and the liveliness of his characters. Throughout the process of working on the book Steve’s attention to detail was highly evident. He followed our art direction to a “T”, happily making many minor tweaks that helped us ensure the visual accuracy of the insects throughout the book. Bugs Don’t Hug wouldn’t be the same without the richness and pizzaz Steve’s artwork has brought to the project. I’d be thrilled to work with him again on more books (and I hope we do!)''
Sarah Richards Taylor (Art Director) Charlesbridge Publishing

''Steve has illustrated several books for me. He's always delivered his work on time or early. His illustrations are absolutely wonderful - with characters that overflow with personality and humor. He's a pleasure to work with. ''
Dianne Cassidy (Senior Art Buyer - Dinardo Design)

''I was fortunate enough to work with Steve on a project for Pearson’s Bug Club reading program. Steve illustrated our Young Robin Hood series, consisting of three books. His illustrations were both action packed and filled with humour. I always looked forward to his work coming in. Steve hit deadlines even when schedules were tight, with artwork supplied and laid out just as instructed. I quickly became comfortable leaving elements of the brief open ended, safe in the knowledge he would bring the scene to life. I would be more than happy to work with Steve again in the future. ''
Gregory Jackson - (Pearson Education)

Children’s Non-Fiction
Education & Reference
Comics & Graphic Novels
Humor & Comedy
Middle Grade
Picture Books


  • BA HONS Fashion Design
  • MA Visual Communication

Work experience

Freelance Illustrator

May, 2011 – Present (over 10 years)

Areas of specialism are Picture-Books and Character Design. With over 30 books published and a growing client list; Steve's work is constantly evolving and responds to an exciting and broad range of briefs for both commercial and contemporary markets.

Clients Include:
Charlesbridge Publishing / Little Island Books/ Harper Collins / Oxford University Press (UK/AUS/NZ) / Five Mile Press / Dinardo Design / Heinemann / Maverick Publishing / Franklin Watts (Hatchette Childrens Books) / Pearson Education / Igloo / Bien House/ Bonnier Publishing / Miles Kelly / Benchmark / Ivy Press / Top That Publishing / Parragon / FreckleBox

Senior Design Lecturer

April, 1999 – March, 2011 (almost 12 years)

Course Director/ Senior Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design programme at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. Teaching and delivering across all 3 levels.
- Pathway Leader for Fashion Communication - Subjects - Fashion Illustration, Promotion, Styling, Graphics and Fashion Trend.

Portfolio (15 selected works)

Bugs Don't Hug: Six-Legged Parents and Their Kids

Montgomery, Heather L., STONE, STEPHEN

Where's the World?

Stradi, Gavin, Stone, Stephen

When Moggie Met Froggie

Stebbing, Julia, Stone, Stephen

The Poopicorn

Whiton, Hilary, Stone, Stephen, Krell, Frank

When Moggie and Froggie Met Doggie

Stebbing, Julia, Stone, Stephen

Stephen has 5 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Jennifer Kelly
Steve, in a word, is AMAZING! He is professional, he provides quality work, and is very thoughtful about his decisions. Working with Steve was a wonderful experience. Steve always brought kind suggestions and guidance to my new author experience. I can't wait to work with him again!

Jennifer Kelly, November 2021

Stephen Stone
Thank you so much Jennifer - it was my absolute pleasure! You are going to go far in your journey!

Reply from Stephen Stone

Andrea P
Stephen was an absolute pleasure to work with. Professional, informative and answered questions quickly. As an indie author, working with an experienced illustrator like Stephen was so reassuring. Everything he presented was clear and on the schedule. And of course his talent in illustration is unique, humorous and creative. I love the characters he was able to create for my book, and the layer...
Read more

Andrea P, September 2021

Stephen Stone
Of course I'll have you! It was a pleasure working with you and your unique and funny story. Thank you for the great review. May the book be an absolute success for you!

Reply from Stephen Stone

Jess Turner
Steve, was a pleasure to work with and he is a very talented illustrator. He worked so hard to illustrate my book and to bring it to life. I am thrilled and I highly recommend him and I hope to continue to work with him in my next project.

Jess Turner, March 2021

Aaron Leary
Highly organised, on time and great work!

Aaron Leary, January 2021

Stephen Stone
Thanks Aaron - it was a pleasure working with you on your project!

Reply from Stephen Stone

Gene Goldberg
Steve was excellent to work with. This was my first book and he kept me informed as to what was needed for the illustrations. We worked together well meeting my goals and his creativity. The final product looks great and I can't wait to get the book into print. I expect his illustrations to be immense help in improving sales.

Gene Goldberg, October 2020

Stephen Stone
Thank you so much Gene. It was a pleasure and honour to work with you on your first book. You gifted me complete trust in directing the art to compliment your wonderful collection of stories, a v...
Read more

Reply from Stephen Stone

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Kim Gatto

I am an Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Art Director who has worked for Simon and Schuster, Penguin Books and Rizzoli Publishing.

Succasunna, New Jersey

Emma Latham

I'm an award-winning children's book illustrator and designer living in Nottingham, UK. I specialize in bringing children's books to life.

Nottingham, UK

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy