Melissa Washburn

Melissa Washburn – Designer

Hi! I'm Melissa, a Midwest US illustrator specializing in work inspired by the natural world.


I create illustrations inspired by the natural world working in a combination of traditional and digital media. I have over 10 years' experience illustrating and designing everything from greeting cards and calendars to editorial and packaging illustration. I'm an avid hiker and amateur naturalist, and love to bring my "nature nerdery" to every project I work on. I've had the opportunity to create an outdoor mural for our newest National Park, Indiana Dunes National Park, and also love illustrating food, having worked with several Edible Magazine franchises and Hudson Valley Seed. I've also illustrated three books in Quarto Publishing's "Draw Like an Artist" instructional series, focused on plants, animals, and insects. If you need birds, plants, flowers, animals, food, or other organic subjects for covers, interiors, or spot illustrations, I'm your artist!

Clear and timely communication is very important to me; I never want either me or my clients guessing about what something means or what comes next. My masters degree is in Arts Administration; having museum management in my background means I've got lots of experience managing projects, understanding budgets and timelines, and working with all kinds of people. The perfect project to me is one where the aesthetic of my work AND my values line up with the client. That's when the magic really happens.


I highly recommend Melissa for your book illustration. Creative, thoughtful, and skilled! She prepared sample creative book cover designs very compatible with the tone of my book, as well as with the plot and genre. The natural elements she drew represented careful research of the geography of the setting. Before work began she provided clear expectations of timing and cost and kept to the proposed schedule. She also responded quickly to email and undertook finding out specifications from the production group.

—Joyce Hicks, author of Unexpected Guests at Blackbird Lodge
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits Home & Garden Nature

Work experience


Apr, 2013 — Present

Illustration and graphic design for clients including nonprofits, outdoor/nature organizations, licensing for greeting cards and calendars, book cover illustration, editorial, and packaging illustration.

Group 7even

May, 2010 — Apr, 2013 (almost 3 years)

Responsible for print design and web graphics for clients including retail/sales, nonprofit/educational, and community organizations. Oversaw implementation of marketing strategies through well-executed and cohesive brand campaigns, advertising, and institutional graphics.

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