This Illustrator Reminds Us What It’s Like Being a Child

Dad, author, and illustrator Christopher Silas Neal manages to capture the essence of childhood. Using a mixture of pencils, pens, brushes, gouache, acrylic, as well as a bit of photoshop, his picture books are full of playfulness and spunk – something you’d want to consider when buying a book to the children in your life.

“I draw, cut and paint various black lines and shapes, scan them into my Mac, add color in Photoshop, and arrange them in layers until it looks like a picture,” he shared in an interview with AI-AP, talking about his creative process.

His style is a sort of mixture between mid-century art and design and pop culture references from his youth. “The picture books I read as a kid, music videos, films, and my mom’s record collection seeped into my creative DNA,” he explained. “The design influence comes from having worked as a graphic designer for three years or so before becoming an illustrator. When I make a piece of art, I move shapes and colors the same way that a designer lays out a page. There’s a flatness to my images that stems from that graphic design process.”

Indeed, his work also includes designing book jackets and posters, as well as regular editorial art for magazines and newspapers including The New York Times and The New Yorker. Here are some of our favorite pieces by him.