Lucy Truman is a freelance illustrator based in Derby, UK, who specializes in illustrating children’s books and creating artwork for kids.

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I have always loved children’s book art, and over my twenty years of being a full time illustrator, I have worked extensively on young fiction and early readers books in both Europe and the USA. A book series I illustrated is listed on the NYT Bestsellers list, Unicorn Academy is written by Julie Sykes, published in the UK by Nosy Crow and by Penguin Random House,  in the USA .

My area of expertise is in the ages 7-12 years age group. I have worked on titles which are wide ranging in subject matters, from fashion led stories, to mental health and inclusive awareness. I love characters who are bold and sassy, who are not afraid to be themselves. Whatever the  genre or type of story, I love to create characterful figures who are inspirational but have flaws we can relate to. A lot of the books I illustrate are about children learning to accept and understand themselves and others.

I love illustrating in the children’s arena, as it connects me with children all over the world, the joy of visiting schools and hearing how the kids have enjoyed my books is incredibly rewarding. The best part is their frankness and honesty when asking me questions! Of course this does help me as it inspires my “new characters” and I always like to jot down conversations in my visual journal! 

For me, the two most important qualities in children’s books are empathy and relatability. Children are incredibly perceptive and sophisticated in understanding characters, and therefore it is paramount that books are reflective and inclusive. My most favourite projects I have been lucky enough to illustrate for are those that have highlighted neurodiversity and acceptance in friendships. 

Aside from my commercial work, I hone my skills by keeping a sketch book which I use as a visual database when I need a specific pose or scene. Traveling with my family has really helped me on many occasions. My children were used regularly when they were smaller, and are my constant source of easily accessible reference. I find talking to children also helps me to understand things from their perspective.


  • Penguin Random House
  • Harper Collins
  • Candlewick Press
  • Little Brown
  • Nosy Crow
  • American Girl


What was your favorite storybook as a child?
My favourite storybook as a child was Where the Wild Things Are, so much so I named my son after it!! I love Sendak's subterranean worlds of adventure and mischief.

Which authors do you admire most?
My favourite authors are M Sasek, Jacqueline Ayer, Maurice Sendak and Roald Dahl.

What characteristic really brings a children’s book to life?
Having sassy, adventurous, and somewhat “naughty” characters in a book really excites me, I love empathetic tales where the character is able to be themselves and grow. Helping us to understand children from different perspectives and demographics is vital to good storytelling.

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