© 2018 Fred Koehler. All rights reserved.

As a book illustrator, I allow the text of a manuscript to inform the illustration style I choose. Textures, color palettes, and media can all shift based on the mood of the book. These decisions are often made in collaboration with AMAZING art and creative directors. That said, my line quality tends to stay similar across projects. A little messy, a little wild, full of heart and humor. Kinda like me.  

Picture Book & Middle Grade Illustration 

HOW TO CHEER UP DAD and SUPER JUMBO both used messy lines with pops of color and an elephant-ish texture that filled in for shadows and backgrounds.

ONE DAY, THE END let my inner graphic designer have a field day! I let the images intermingle with the typography for the fun, frenzied stories that were told by the pictures more so than the words. (And I LOVE to illustrate a mismatched book, where the words don't agree with the pictures.)

And then came THIS BOOK IS NOT ABOUT DRAGONS. It was an experimental departure. Billed as "Eric Carle meets Michael Bay," this project used paper and various incendiary devices to create unique textures. Plus, I got to play with smoke bombs, firecrackers, and a blow torch in the process.

When I read the manuscript to FLASHLIGHT NIGHT, I knew immediately that I had to illustrate it in traditional media. I poured my soul into this book, with each spread taking an entire week to render in painstakingly tiny pencil marks. But it also took me around the world, backpacking through England and Scotland to find the perfect ships, castles, and waterfalls to inform the details. The illustrations were scanned and colored digitally for a moody, mysterious, magical adventure. 

My debut middle grade novel, GARBAGE ISLAND, let me get more loose and wild than ever before with digitally rendered black and white drawings. I found that I LOVE the challenge of telling a story in black and white, and hope to do many more like these.

A current work in progress, codename MYTHIC AIRLINES, let me explore human and fantasy figures from a middle grade perspective. This book is unexpected and thrilling, and publishing rights are available. Contact me to find out more.