Susan Szecsi

Susan Szecsi – Designer

Award-winning Illustrator-Designer, former clients: Scholastic, Chicago Review Press, Stanford University Press, Hunter House Pub. UCSF...


I am professional illustrator/designer, recently focusing on book illustrations and covers.
I am classically trained in atelier style private schools and learned, art anatomy, perspective, color theory, composition and design. I hold an MA in English Literature. While I never stopped making art, I spent more than 15 years teaching, then about five years ago became a full time freelance designer and illustrator.

I firmly believe that the key part of the successful collaboration is regular and clear communication between the Client and the Designer. Before I give you a final offer, I love to understand every aspect of the project. In my experience the best is to talk/email and based on our discussion put together a written brief., that contains all the specifications.

What if you are not sure about what you want. Do not worry, I am happy to help you to clarify your needs. I have worked together with seasoned professionals, and first-publishing indies. Feel free to ask any questions, with my guidance we will find the best way to make your book other project stand out.

Depending on the work's complexity here is a simplified one step at a time guideline how I work.
1, Based on our communication we finalize the brief, agree on specifications and conditions.
2. I give you a quota for the job.
3. You accept it, and send the deposit to reedsy.
1. After understanding your needs I will create some sketches that I will send you to review.
2. If you ask for changes, I will implement the changes and send the sketches again to you to review.
3. If the sketches are accepted we proceed to the next step, color version, sample layout, etc.
4. It goes with a lot of back and forth communication and reviews until we finish.
5. You get the final files.

In case of book covers you will get 2-3 different sketches to choose.
In case of 20-24 pages of book illustrations, I will create a story-board with thumbnails. (See example in my photo gallery.

In general I offer three free revisions. Ideally two of them should happen at the early phase of the job to save time and money for both of us. It is quite normal to have a third/last revision when I am almost ready with the job. These last revisions are usually smaller changes.
What counts as a revision? I am only human, so if I made a mistake and I need to fix it that never counts as a revision.
Further revisions are possible based on my hourly rate.

Each job is different, but see some rough estimates below.
!! Please note, these are general numbers referring to the average time frame that I need from accepting the job to sending you the final files. These numbers do not refer to the actual hours/days I actively work on your project.
Freelancers almost always have a busy schedule, and work on 2-5 projects simultaneously, so you might need to wait until I am able to start, especially if it is a big job e.g.: a series of illustrations. Smaller jobs, a solo illustration a banner, a book cover are easier to squeeze into my schedule.

(Estimates including research, revisions and back and forth communication with you.)
- book cover design - minimum 2 weeks
- book cover design with illustration - 2 - 4 weeks
- 20-24 illustrations for a 32 page children's book - 3 - 6 months
- black and white illustrations for chapter book - 2- 6 months
- one single (simple) illustration - minimum 3 days
- book layout (max 5 pictures) until 100 pages - 1 week
- other smaller design projects like logo, banners, social media cover -1 - 2 weeks

As soon as I know exactly what you need I will be able to tell you a price and the estimated delivery date.

Have a question? Do you need something that is not in my portfolio? Send me a message.
Looking forward to working with you.
Action & Adventure Fantasy Middle Grade Picture Books Young Adult
Business & Management Health & Wellbeing Medicine, Nursing, & Dentistry
  • Eureka Silver Award (for non-fiction children's books by the California Reading Association)
  • MA in English Literature
  • Five Years Private Studies at Atelier Style Art Studios

Work experience

Chicago Review Press

Jul, 2018 — Jan, 2019 (6 months)

Working on illustrating and designing Yes, I can Listen! picture book.

Blue Dot Kids Press

Feb, 2018 — Jun, 2020 (over 2 years)

As Blue Dot Kids Press is a small publisher my role included looking after book design and production, and occasionally art direction too.

Scholastic Book Club

May, 2017 — Dec, 2017 (7 months)

Black and white illustrations and book interior design for chapter book "Toto's Story" Book was published and in 2018. See Scholastic Book Club's 2018 January catalogue.
The second version of the book published by the author Steve Metzger, award winning author of more than 70 children's book is available on Amazon.


Aug, 2014 — Present


Aug, 2013 — Present


In this new chapter book, Toto tells us what really happened when he and Dorothy made that magical journey to Oz. Based on L. Frank Baum's classic tale, "The Wizard of Oz," read all about the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, and the Wicked Witch ... read more
Aki loves spending time with his grandfather. They walk to downtown, visit the fish market and see many interesting things in the park. At the end of the day, they watch a baseball game and cheer for their favorite team.
Buy a book, empower a child! All proceeds benefit USA Synchro, the sport's governing body in the U.S. to help expose more young children to a lesser-known sport that builds their athleticism, confidence, social skills, and character to prepare them for success... read more
Yes, I Can Listen!

Steve Metzger

Listening is an essential life skill that helps children achieve success at school, follow safety rules and show others that they care about them. In a world filled with distractions, being a “good listener” has become more difficult than ever. The playful rhy... read more
There's a silent epidemic in western civilization, and it is right under our noses. Our jaws are getting smaller and our teeth crooked and crowded, creating not only aesthetic challenges but also difficulties with breathing. Modern orthodontics has persuaded u... read more
Part whistle-blower book, part bone health bible, Dr. Lani's No-Nonsense Bone Health Guide exposes the shocking difficulty involved in getting an accurate bone density reading and the serious risks of long term use of the most recent osteoporosis medications.A... read more
In the summer of 2015, Steve, Scotty and I ride out of the San Francisco Bay Area on our 40-year-old motorcycles and ride into the Sierra and White Mountains along the California and Nevada borders. "Steve and Scotty are college rugby teamates in their thirtie... read more
Imagine being told you have to stop knitting because of discomfort in your hands, arms, neck, or back. Imagine the sense of frustration and the longing to get the needles back in your hands. Imagine the lingering doubt you might have when you can pick them up ... read more
This book was designed to help you develop correct resting oral posture.With it, you will achieve balanced growth of your face and teeth. Additionally, these exercises will support you in quest to develop your mind and body in the best way, so that you can rea... read more

Susan has 13 reviews





Diane G.

Diane G.

Aug, 2022

It was the first time I worked with a cover designer and I was fortunate to find an excellent professional on Reedsy. Susan was earlier than expected on the timeline, she understood exactly what I wanted, and quickly made the slight adjustments I needed. She went above and beyond in creating an appropriate design using her in-depth knowledge of the marketplace. I felt that I was in the hand...
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Susan S.
Thank you Diane, it was a pleasure working with you. I wish you great success with your book!
Lourdes C.

Lourdes C.

Dec, 2021

Susan was awesome to work with, if needed any changes or anything she was available, and we also face-timed to go over things. I highly recommend working with Susan, my book is now published and she made the final processes easy.
Amanda S.

Amanda S.

Oct, 2021

As a new author Susan was a full of helpful information regarding not just the illustration process but also publishing and printing. She made the process much easier and I'm glad I had her around to help!
Doris R.

Doris R.

Sep, 2021

Susan an amazing artist. She understood what I was looking for from the beginning and really brought my story to life ! Well worth the money . I am beyond pleased.
Nadia A A.

Nadia A A.

Aug, 2021

I don't know where to begin with Susan. She is absolutely a joy to work with. She is amazing, professional, does fantastic work, patient and very creative. I had few set backs due to my manuscript and had to make some edits to fit my target audience for a children's book and Susan was very patient and kind. She made the edits within the already designed book. She over delivered. I felt bad for ...
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Susan S.
Nadia has patience, intelligence, kindness and an admirable attitude toward creating books. I truly enjoyed every minute while I was working with her. I hope our paths will cross again soon.

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