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

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

NYC based illustrator, children’s book author, and character designer Steven Salerno creates striking illustrations for editorial and advertising clients stylistically ranging from graphically simple and whimsical, to more realistic, richly textured images. Over his long independent graphics career 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.

Steven is also the illustrator of 30 popular picture book titles for children (and the author/illustrator of 5 of these titles) -skillfully bringing to life expressive people and animals, and for period non-fiction titles his illustrative scenes successfully capture the look and feel of the story’s era. Some of Steven's picture book titles have been translated into Chinese, German, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, and Spanish.

His 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 (NYC), and the Junior Library Guild. 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 exhibition and children's picture book art exhibition.

See list of Steven’s current and past illustration clients. 

See complete list of Steven’s 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

Originally from Vermont, he is 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, creator of the ground breaking picture book "Where the Wild Things Are," and many others.

Today Steven is primarily engaged with illustrating/writing picture books for kids, though also still creates illustrations for client projects in print & web advertising, magazines, newspapers, corporate publications, product packaging, and retail graphics. Contact him directly to discuss your project requiring illustration images.

He lives and works in Manhattan.

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

Steven has 2 new picture books being released in 2019. Look for:

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:  2 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: 2 new picture books illustrated by Steven Salerno, for release in 2019 -The Crayon Man (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and Wild Horse Annie (Farrar Straus Giroux)

Steven also has a deep interest in the great game of golf... and creates striking golf art and graphics: from golfscapes to depictions of legendary golf professionals both past and present. Steven’s golf art & illustrations have been published by Golf Digest, GOLF magazine, LINKS magazine, GolfWorld magazine, and his portraits of top PGA Tour players appeared in the PGATour.com Spotlight feature section. In 2012 he created a series of golfscape paintings of signature golf holes designed by Golf Hall of Fame member and 4-time Major Championship winner, golfer and architect Ernie Els -for use in a series of print ads promoting Els Design golf course architecture company.

Some of his golf art images can be seen in the golf portfolio section on this site. Contact Steven 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)