Kristy Caldwell is an illustrator based in Brooklyn. She illustrates books for kids and has a history of providing graphic art for theatre companies in New York. She is married to theater director Kelly O'Donnell, and has the pleasure of sharing a studio with a gang of great illustrators: Ben Voldman, Chi Birmingham, Hyesu Lee, Rumi Hara, and Ryan Hartley Smith.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are the books you've illustrated so different from each other?
A: My work has always been eclectic. The publishers I've worked with have each seen something different in it. I think it comes from being a reader of all kinds of books: books with heroes, books without heroes, books set on other planets, books about things that already happened on this planet, suspenseful books, quiet books. I like the idea of creating books with perspectives as wild and diverse as the ones I read.
Q: Why do you illustrate on the computer?
A: I use a range of materials. For me, the main benefits of working directly on the computer are speed and flexibility. I like to make work that is fairly detailed, and the computer helps me to keep up with all of the moving parts. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the creative options, so I try to use digital tools in a straightforward way.
Recent interviews and press
Recognition for Flowers for Sarajevo
Junior Library Guild Selection | Kirkus Best Picture Books of 2017 | New York Library’s Best Books for Kids 2017 | Chicago Tribune Top 10 Picture Books of 2017 | A Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year 2018
ABC Best Books for Young Readers (Meet the Bobs and Tweets) | Communication Arts | American Illustration | Creative Quarterly | 3×3 | Applied Arts Magazine
Selected review quotes
“Sure to inspire the explorers of tomorrow. … Illustrator Kristy Caldwell’s clean, colorful depictions of faraway settings and remote locales bring wonderful immediacy to the story. “ —BookPage (Away With Words)
“Caldwell’s energetic, full-color, Sunday-comics illustrations are satisfyingly chaotic.” —Kirkus Reviews (Meet the Bobs and Tweets)
“Caldwell’s artwork is stunning, using rich colors and panels in a graphic novel–like style.” —School Library Journal (Flowers for Sarajevo)
"It’s rare to find a children’s book that’s so completely a work of art." —YA and Kids Book Central (Flowers for Sarajevo)
"Thought-provoking ... Gray-toned art using ink, charcoal, pencil, and Photoshop finds beauty in a war-ravaged place." —The Horn Book (Flowers for Sarajevo)