Zoe Waring - Illustrator - Designer - Author (almost)
Zoe has always loved the warmth and humour found in children’s picture books, and is a little obsessed with cute animals... just a little bit. She also loves drawing, has a rather silly sense of humour and a vivid imagination. You can begin to understand why she believes she has THE best job in the world!
Zoe illustrates using various techniques, but loves to create bold, graphic, illustrations with digital brushes and bright palettes in Photoshop. She also enjoys escaping the screen and getting out all her lovely pencils, paints and inks. This has led to her having two styles to choose from, which adds lots of variety to her commissions.
Whichever way she creates her illustrations, and whatever style the client prefers, her main goal is to create warm, likeable and engaging characters – If they don't make her smile, then what hope do the little critters have!
Keep an eye on the NEWS section for published work and updates!
Clients have included: Simon & Schuster U.S - Aladdin, Harper Collins U.S. - Katherine Tegan Books, Running Press Kids, Parragon U.S, Auzou Editions, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Children's Books, Quarto - Small World Creations, Random House Children's Books - Tamarind, I am Bookwork, Booktrust, Tralalire, Little Tiger Press, Hallmark Cards, Just Multiples, Unicef...
Zoe grew up in the small market town of Darlington, surrounded by colouring pencils, penny sweets, two equally silly sisters and three crazy cats.
She studied Graphic Design at Teesside university, specialising in illustrating children's books. All her major projects were a little bonkers, from Muddle Puddle Farm and the Magic Chicken Milk to a twist on a classic, Little Red. She knew she was on the right track when she was selected and highly commended for the Macmillan Prize in 2001.
After graduating in 2003, she moved to London and exhibited at New Designers. Here she won the Tigerprint Future of Design Award, which included a placement with Hallmark Cards. For three years Zoe worked as in-house designer and illustrator, this became the perfect opportunity to develop a broad range of art styles and become much more commercially minded.
Her love for books, ever present, led to Zoe moving on to becoming a picture book designer for the next (almost) decade. She worked for Usborne Publishing, Random House Children’s Books, Scholastic Children's books and then finally Bloomsbury Publishing.
As a Senior Designer, Zoe helped create some award winning picture books and got to work with a broad range of world class artists, such as Marc Boutavant, David Tazzyman, Debi Gliori, Sam Lloyd, Yasmeen Ismail, Emily Mackenzie, Tom McLaughlin... to name but a few!
She filled her boots with knowledge, whilst her evenings were spent filling sketchbooks with her own characters and stories. Zoe longed to have her own books out there, so she finally took the leap and became a freelance Illustrator and Designer!
People sometimes ask Zoe what it's now like to be wearing 'the other hat'. "Is it strange being the one receiving art direction?". She can truly say it's a fantastic experience! From working in-house with so many brilliant Designers, Editors, Sales, Marketing and Rights teams, she knows just how much work goes into one book. It's a collaborative effort to create a brilliant and successful book.
Zoe has recently moved to Newcastle with her husband, where she's enjoying freelance life in her new sunny studio.