HomeBooks by AgeAges 0-3Illustration Inspiration: Holly Hatam, Illustrator of Dear Baby
Illustrator Interview Holly Hatam

Illustration Inspiration: Holly Hatam, Illustrator of Dear Baby

The Children’s Book Review

Holly Hatam, Illustrator of Dear Baby, Talks About Why She Makes Art

Holly Hatam is the illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Dear Girl, and Dear Boy, which she had the pleasure of creating with Amy, Paris, and Jason Rosenthal. Some of her other books include Made by Maxine, written by Ruth Spiro, and Jack (Not Jackie), written by Erica Silverman. Holly lives in Whitby, Ontario, with her wacky husband and even wackier son.

I make art because …

It’s a way for me to express myself and the things I believe in. I create art to spread kindness, inspiration and magic.

Book Dear Baby Holly HatamMy latest published book is …

Dear Baby.

Art medium used …


Artistic process …

I start by reading the manuscript once and if I don’t instantly picture the illustrations, I won’t accept the job. I have to be inspired by the words. Once I decide to take on a job, I re-read the manuscript and jot down the first ideas that come to my mind. I let my emotions guide me. My emotions dictate the feel and flow of the book. I then start sketching the main characters of the book. Once the characters are defined, I begin sketching each spread. Once the sketches are approved by the publisher, I begin finalizing the illustrations. I use Adobe Illustrator to vectorize the illustrations and then I bring in the vectors into Adobe Photoshop and start the painting process.

Art Dear Baby

I am inspired by …

Nature, music, and song lyrics. I am inspired by quotes and books. I am inspired by magic, photography, and animations.

My favorite place to create and illustrate is …

In my studio. My studio is bursting with my personality. I have art prints on my walls from artists that I love. I have inspiring quotes scattered everywhere. I have a desk where I illustrate and a separate desk where I do all my writing. I have bookshelves full of books and a cozy chair where I do all my early morning reading and dreaming. I am surrounded by plants, Lego, and everything and anything unicorn.

Art Dear Baby Holly Hatam

My most used art supply or tool is …

My Cintiq—a big computer screen that I draw on with a digital pencil.

Diversity in children’s books is …

Allowing characters of color to be the hero of the book instead of the sidekick or hiding in the background.

Illustrator idols are …

Oliver Jeffers, Isabelle Arsenault, Mary Blair, and Tim Burton.

All-time favorite children’s books I didn’t illustrate …

Stuck by Oliver Jeffers, Florette by Anna Walker, and Joy by Corinne Averiss and illustrated by Isabelle Follath.

A literary character to create art with …

Felicity Pickle from the book A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd.

I’m currently working on …

A chapter book series called Fairy Dust by Megan MacDonald.

For more information about Holly Hatam, you can visit:

hollyhatam.com| Instagram

Book Dear Baby by Holly HatamDear Baby: A Love Letter To Little Ones

Written by Paris Rosenthal

Illustrated by Holly Hatam

Publisher’s Synopsis: From #1 New York Times bestselling team Paris Rosenthal and Holly Hatam comes a sweet and inspiring love letter written to the special baby in your life! A perfect gift for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more.

Filled with loving advice and encouragement, Dear Baby, reminds little ones that the world is big, bright, and ready just for them. There’s no limit to what they can be, where they can go, or what they can do! With the same tenderness as Dear Girl, and Dear Boy, Paris’s charming text and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations beautifully come together to reassure babies everywhere that no matter how far they go, they are loved.

Perfect for fans of I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; The Wonderful Things You’ll Be by Emily Winfield Martin; Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss; and Be Brave Little One by Marianne Richmond.

Don’t miss out on these other books from Paris Rosenthal and Holly Hatam:

Dear Girl, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Paris Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam

Dear Boy, written by Paris Rosenthal and Jason Rosenthal, illustrated by Holly Hatam

Ages 2-6 | Publisher: HarperCollins | ISBN-13:  978-0063012721

Buy the Book

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Discover more illustration inspiration and books like ‘Dear Baby’ written by Paris Rosenthal and illustrated by Holly Hatam, on The Children’s Book Review by following along with our Illustration Inspiration series and articles tagged with , , , , , , , , and .

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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