The Energetic Illustrations of Laura Hughes

Award-winning illustrator, Laura Hughes, is known for her loose, energetic illustrations that appeal to both children and their parents. Based in Hastings on the South Coast of England, Hughes has illustrated many titles for children including There’s a Pig Up My Nose, written by John Dougherty (and the winner of Oscar’s Book Prize 2018); Daddy’s Sandwich by Pip Jones, and Hop Little Bunnies by Martha Mumford.

Inspired mainly by the natural world, Hughes hopes to help children discover the joys of reading, and visits schools regularly as part of her work. Having studied illustration at Kingston University and graduated in 2005, her illustrations are mostly hand-drawn using inks, with the occasional gouache paint and pastels.

But like most children books’ illustrators, Hughes stumbled upon her vocation by chance. “I guess I never really decided I wanted to illustrate specifically for children,” she reflected in an interview with Kathy Temean. But after creating a lot of animal-based illustrations for greeting cards, the transition into character-led picture books seemed natural. “Although I’d call myself a children’s illustrator I don’t really like the idea that my work is only for a certain group of people,” she notes, “I hope that everyone can enjoy it at any stage in their life.”

As well as illustrating books for young readers, her artwork is also featured on greeting cards, gift-wrap, packaging, and stationery in countries all over the world, with her selected clients including Harper Collins, Bloomsbury Books, Anthropologie, and DengDeng Baby.

“While my illustration work is very commercial and ‘child friendly’ I’ve always had a love for heavy music and horror films,” she admits. “I like those two contradictions: the cute side and the scary side of me!”

Scroll down to see some recent highlights.