above:  Steven working on an illustration for the 2013 picture book   BOOM!   (Disney/Hyperion Press)

above: Steven working on an illustration for the 2013 picture book BOOM! (Disney/Hyperion Press)

NYC based illustrator, children’s book author, and character designer Steven Salerno creates illustrations ranging stylistically from graphically simple & whimsical, to more realistic, richly textured images. He has created thousands of published illustrations for a list of nearly 600 clients for use in print & web advertising, magazines, newspapers, product packaging, publishing, corporate publications, and retail graphics. View his various portfolio sections to get an overview. See list of current and past clients. 

Steven is also the illustrator of 30 popular picture book titles for children (and author & illustrator of 5 of these titles) He brings to life expressive, memorable characters for his stories as well as for those by other authors, too. See list of published picture books to date.

  above:  Steven’s 5 picture book titles as both the author & illustrator… And he’s also illustrated 25 additional popular picture books written by other authors

above: Steven’s 5 picture book titles as both the author & illustrator… And he’s also illustrated 25 additional popular picture books written by other authors

  above:  detail of illustration from the 2015 picture book   The Fantastic Ferris Wheel   (Macmillan/Christy Ottaviano Books)

above: detail of illustration from the 2015 picture book The Fantastic Ferris Wheel (Macmillan/Christy Ottaviano Books)

Steven’s most recent author/illustrator picture book title is Tim's Goodbye, published by Farrar Straus Giroux/2018. The gentle story of Margot and her friends all gathering for an unknown reason, until a visual twist within one of the illustrations reveals they have all gathered to give their impromptu, heartfelt goodbye to a beloved pet that has died…  

"This uncomplicated tale of love, loss, friendship, and hope is a great addition for library collections..." -School Library Journal

"...the balloons add an important buoyancy to the telling, providing a possible entree to matters of the spirit, if readers desire it... A succinct text and an uncluttered design provide space to discover and process a loss." -Kirkus Reviews

"This gentle story might be just the introduction some readers seek…" -The New York Times Book Review

  above:  cover of Steven’s latest picture book,  Tim’s Goodbye  published by Farrar Straus Giroux, 2018

above: cover of Steven’s latest picture book, Tim’s Goodbye published by Farrar Straus Giroux, 2018

Also released in 2018: PRIDE -The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag (non-fiction) -published by Random House -written by Rob Sanders & illustrated by Steven Salerno, the true story of gay-rights activist Harvey Milk who was tragically killed in 1978, and the history of the iconic Rainbow flag created by designer Gilbert Baker.

Also released in 2018: PASS GO And Collect $200 -The Real Story of How MONOPOLY was Invented -published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt & Co -written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by StevenSalerno, the true story of inventor Lizzie Magie and Charles Darrow and their independent roles in the creation of one of the most popular board games in American history. 

Steven has two new picture books being released in 2019:  The Crayon Man -The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons (non-fiction) published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt -written by Natascha Biebow & illustrated by Steven Salerno, the true story of American Edwin Binney, inventor of Crayola Crayons in 1903.

and Wild Horse Annie -Friend of the Mustangs (non-fiction) published by Farrar Straus Giroux -written by Tracey Fern & illustrated by Steven Salerno, the true story of Velma Bronn Johnston, horse lover and animal activist who in the 1970’s was the driving force behind the Federal Laws protecting wild horses on public lands.

  above:  two new picture books illustrated by Steven Salerno, for release in 2019 -  The Crayon Man   (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and   Wild Horse Annie   (Farrar Straus Giroux)

above: two new picture books illustrated by Steven Salerno, for release in 2019 -The Crayon Man (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Wild Horse Annie (Farrar Straus Giroux)

Some of Steven's picture books have been translated into Chinese, German, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish. His picture books have received industry starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Children's Literature, The New York Times Review of Books, and have been displayed by the Society of Illustrators (NYC) in their annual children's picture book art exhibition, The Original Art.

Steven's illustrations have been recognized for excellence by Communication Arts, Print, Society for News Design, Society of Publication Designers, The Art Director's Club, Society of Illustrators, and the Junior Library Guild.

  above:  one in a series of print ads originally created for the sock company  Gold Toe Socks , for their advertising campaign:  All Walks of Life

above: one in a series of print ads originally created for the sock company Gold Toe Socks, for their advertising campaign: All Walks of Life

  above:  photo of an illustration in progress for the 2016 picture book,   The Kid from Diamond Street   (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

above: photo of an illustration in progress for the 2016 picture book, The Kid from Diamond Street (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

  above:  cropped detail of an illustration created for The New York Times (page of their Real Estate section) for article on city sounds.

above: cropped detail of an illustration created for The New York Times (page of their Real Estate section) for article on city sounds.

  above:  simple graphic illustration of lemons, created for  USA Today  newspaper, for article on lemon-themed recipes

above: simple graphic illustration of lemons, created for USA Today newspaper, for article on lemon-themed recipes

  above:  illustration by Steven Salerno,  Boy on a Red Horse  (gouache, crayon, digital)

above: illustration by Steven Salerno, Boy on a Red Horse (gouache, crayon, digital)

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Steven also has had a lifelong interest in the great game of golf, and creates striking golf art images. Some of his golf art images can be seen in the golf portfolio section on this site. Contact Steven via email about your design project requiring golf art and graphics.

  above:  cropped detail of portrait of American golfing legend,   Ben Hogan  , circa 1953 (crayon, gouache, wood grain, digital)

above: cropped detail of portrait of American golfing legend, Ben Hogan, circa 1953 (crayon, gouache, wood grain, digital)

Originally from Vermont, he was an honors graduate of the Illustration Department at Parsons School of Design in New York City, where he studied art history, printmaking, animation, and illustration under top industry professionals including famed author/illustrator Maurice Sendak, of the ground breaking picture book "Where the Wild Things Are," and many others.

Today Steven is primarily engaged with illustrating and writing picture books for kids, though also still creates illustrations for clients in advertising, magazines, newspapers, corporate publications, and product packaging. 

He lives and works in Manhattan.