Kaley McKean’s Illustrations Are Undeniably Cheerful

Illustrator Kaley McKean is inspired by the natural world, folklore, and history. Using a bright, minimal palette, she usually sticks to three to five colors. Based in Toronto she received her BDes in Illustration from OCAD University in 2012 and has since been hard at work in the realms of editorial illustration, children’s publishing, and product design.

Her hard work clearly paid off, with selected clients that include The New York Times, Time Out New York, and the Smithsonian. She’s also published her first illustrated children’s book last year, Howl Like a Wolf by Kathleen Yale.

“The fast pace of editorial work is exciting and it’s fun seeing the work in print weeks or sometimes days later,” she shared with Illustrators’ Lounge. “However, being able to take the time to focus on developing the book was a really interesting change for me, and I learned a lot. I’m hoping to have the opportunity to work on more books in the near future. That being said, after having my hands full for so long it’s so nice to take time for a bit of personal work.”

Working primarily in Photoshop, McKean aims to incorporate hand-drawn shapes and textures into her work. “My favourite non-digital mediums to work with are graphite and watercolor,” she shared.

Take a look at some of her child-like creations in the gallery below.