Laura Watson is a freelance illustrator based in Toronto, Canada, who specializes in illustrating children’s books and creating artwork for kids.

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I loved reading as a child, but rediscovered the world of illustrated children’s books when studying art in university. Over the years my style has morphed from fully hand painted to a form of digital collage using hand painted elements – while consistently focused on telling a story through relatable animal and human characters, quirky and detailed environments, and vibrant, happy colours. What I love most about illustrating children’s books is creating a connection between the reader and the protagonist – conveying the joys and struggles of a character through their expression and body language, even for the simplest of creatures like a crab or a worm (with little personalized details like eyelashes and hats)! I’ve illustrated dozens of children’s books for educational and trade publishers, as well as several children’s puzzles, and countless spreads in children’s magazines.


  • Chronicle Books
  • Scholastic
  • Loyola Press


What was your favorite storybook as a child?
I loved the Curious George books best!

Which authors do you admire most?
Current authors I love are Oliver Jeffers and Mac Barnett; older books written by Maurice Sendak, Dr Seuss and Margaret Wise Brown are also favourites! 

What characteristic really brings a children’s book to life?
I think a simple story that everyone can relate to, with an element of surprise, is amazing. Also the way the illustrations and text work together—the text should leave room for some things to be explained in the illustrations, and vice versa. A little bit of mystery, too! 

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