About

Image of a young seated caucasian woman, wearing large black sunglasses and holding a large container of green paint and paintbrush. more paints are in the background.

I am a full-time freelance illustrator with nine years of experience helping clients add a splash of cheer to their books, packaging, campaigns, posters and more. I am a native New Yorker (check out this comic about my childhood in Queens). I am also now an honorary Spaniard thanks to my husband Alonso and the years we spent living there with his big, gregarious familia Andaluza.

I’ve lived in Spain, England, and Chile (briefly). Right now we’re based in New York City. Working across cultures and time zones is my daily bread, and I am proud to say that I have worked with clients from France, Spain, England, Wales, Ireland, Australia, Canada and the USA. 

The outlets for my work are diverse, but my clients all have one thing in common: they want to bring warmth and friendliness into the way they communicate.

Highlights from my client list are Chronicle Books, Voracious (Hachette), Lux Magazine, the Museum Magazine (National Museum of Australia), and a number of distinguished professors at Oxford, Swansea and Northwestern Universities who have entrusted me with communicating decades of research through illustration. I have also illustrated seven books (and counting!), including the thrice-anthologized, thrice-translated, and once-exhibited cookbook, Picture Cook (Ulysses Press, 2013).

I have a BA in American Studies / Visual Culture from Wesleyan University (CT) and an MA with distinction in Digital Experience Design from Hyper Island (a pedagogical brainchild of Teeside University and a couple of crazy Swedes).

Get in touch (katie@katieshelly.art) to talk about whatever creative project is on your mind. I’m all ears. I send a newsletter just twice a year with updates from my studio. You can subscribe here.