Laura Thompson is a freelance illustrator based in York, North Yorkshire, UK, who specializes in animal illustrations and wildlife patterns.

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My interest in illustration of animals and wildlife began after reading with my daughter and being inspired by children’s picture books, I felt compelled to explore illustrating animal characters and wildlife for kids lit as well as for children’s non-fiction. Over the past years, my expertise in surface patterns and illustration of floral designs has naturally developed to feature animals. This is because the illustration of wildlife within their natural habitats, to include flora and foliage, creates a more dynamic and compelling image as well as being more educational. As an illustrator who specialises in illustration of animals and wildlife in natural environments, I nurture this focus by absorbing my environment, and being constantly inspired by the countryside in which I live and work.  To create a successful animal illustration I believe it is important to study a variety of movements that the animal’s body can do and the shapes it can create as well as undertaking research into the natural habitats and homes of the wildlife to make for an eye catching illustration. For me, the two most important qualities of a successful animal illustration for children’s literature are color and character. My illustration work is vibrant and uplifting, with the animal’s character having a friendly and inviting feel, which appeals to a younger reader. To maintain my skillset I ensure that I draw and paint with watercolors, gouache and pencils weekly to strengthen my use of those mediums and traditional illustration methods.


  • Union Square Art Collective Studio
  • The Scented Candle Studio
  • Laura Olivia Textile Design Studio
  • Shared Earth Ltd. 


What animal do you most relate to? 
I most relate to cats; they can be extrovert and introvert, social and solitary, playful and peaceful.  

What animal is the most fun to draw? 
I love to paint birds, the variety of colours and textures in the feathers are so interesting to explore, I feel like I could paint them in so many ways. 

Which do you prefer: cats or dogs?
Both. I grew up with dogs, but now have cats. Both have their own individual character traits and no two are the same. Just like humans. 

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