Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 5, 2022

Illustrator Saturday – Brittany Baugus

I am currently working as a freelance illustrator in Atlanta, Georgia. My digital artwork tends to focus on the importance of shape, color, and texture, and how all three harmonize to create a successful image. Today, my work is mostly geared toward toward children’s T.V., film, and publication.

Brittany Baugus graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in the summer of 2019, with a degree in illustration.

Her digital artwork tends to focus on the importance of shape, color, and texture, and how all three harmonize to create a wonderful composition. Today, her work is mostly geared toward toward children’s T.V., film, and publication.

Represented by the Bright Agency




For my newest picture book Celebrate!: A Happy Book of Firsts, I began the project by sketching out ideas for the characters. In this stage I try to push and exaggerate shapes, using a combination of both soft curved lines and sharp pointed angles. I also sometimes work without a sketch and try to find the shape of the character using a greyscale palette and a charcoal brush. Once I’ve found a sketch that I like, I move on to form the environment around that character.

This spread was definitely my favorite spread of the book to illustrate. After reading the manuscript, I immediately pictured a cute little baby playing in the dirt while his father works tending to the garden. I played around with what animals might be in the garden peeking out at the baby, and decided on a family of bunnies hiding amongst the cabbage.

While I usually have to do a few quick thumbnails before creating an interior spread’s sketch, this spread was one I pictured right away in my head and was easily put onto the paper. In Procreate, I started off using a charcoal brush in a greyscale palette to find the basic shapes and composition, and then refined the shapes and added detail using a pencil brush.

For this book, I took the Procreate sketches into Photoshop to continue with color. I chose a warm saturated palette with greens and orange-y browns. To draw focus to the baby and dad, I made their outfits bright yellow and red.


How long have you been illustrating?I’ve been professionally illustrating for about 3 years now, although I’ve had a passion for creating art for as long as I can remember!

What was the first thing you did where they paid you for your art?

The first time I was paid for my art, if I remember correctly, was for the animation studio Atomic Cartoons. I painted a series of environment concept art illustrations for a children’s television show. I’m not sure if the show continued on into production, but I really enjoyed the experience!

Have you always lived in Georgia?

Yes, I’ve lived in Georgia all my life. I’ve mostly stayed in North Georgia, but I lived in Savannah for a few years attending Savannah College of Art and Design.

You list that in 2015 you attended Berry College and spent a year taking Pre-Veterinary Studies?

I’d always loved taking as many art classes as I could in high school, but when it came time to choose a college, I didn’t really know I could seriously choose art as a career. Berry college was a great first year college experience, but I realized pretty quickly that the passion and drive I had for art far outweighed the passion I thought I had for veterinary studies, so I transferred after just a year at Berry to Savannah College of Art and Design.

What type of things did you study in concept art?

In the Concept Art concentration, we took classes that were geared towards the illustration work created before an animated movie , tv show, etc. This included classes like character design, environment design, and world building.

Did you do any freelance work while attending SCAD?

The only freelance project I took on while I was still in school was the work I did for Atomic Cartoons, during school I mostly concentrated on building a solid portfolio to have in time for graduation. During breaks between semesters I would sometimes take on commissions for traditional artwork. One of my favorites was a big oil painting I did for my aunt of the Grand Teton mountains.

Did you take any classes other than Illustrating at SCAD like animation?

I really wanted to take an animation class, but unfortunately couldn’t fit it into my schedule. I did however take an illustration class where we learned to create moving art and gifs from illustrations using Adobe After Effects. When I have the time, I’d love to experiment more with learning how to incorporate simple animation to my illustrations.

Did SCAD help you find the job before you graduated?

At SCAD we received a lot of help from both the career advisors and professors who were great to meet with to talk about our plans after graduation, and how best to get our work out to potential clients.

What type of things did you do to promote yourself as an illustrator?

Before I found my agency, I sent out a few different rounds of postcards featuring my work nicely printed on the front, and a few illustrated stickers on the envelopes as well. I also sent my work via email to a long list of Art directors/companies I gathered. Now I mainly use instagram to promote my work, while my agency takes care of the rest.

When did you decide you wanted to write and illustrate children’s Books?

I think it was a gradual progression during my time at SCAD. My dream was to always work for a big animation studio creating concept art, but I think my style developed in such a way that was just a better and more natural fit for the world of children’s book illustration.

Did you create a book dummy for your portfolio?

I never actually made a book dummy, as my portfolio upon graduation was mainly geared towards concept art, environment design, and character design. When I eventually realized that my work is perhaps better suited for children’s books, I was accepted by the Bright Agency, and moved into the world of children’s books from there.

I see you are represented by the Bright Agency. How did you connect with them and how long have you been with them?

I had a professor from SCAD that was kind enough to give me some recommendations of agencies he thought might be a good fit for my work. Pretty soon after graduation I submitted my portfolio to a few of them, and was delighted to find out I was going to be working with Bright.

Was The Animals Speak: A Christmas Eve Legend by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Beaming Books on October 5, 2021 your first Picture Book?

Yes it was! Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, so it was so much fun getting to illustrate so many Holiday-themed spreads.

Did the Bright Agency get you that contract?

Yes they did!

I just featured CELEBRATE! A Happy Book of Firsts on Writing and Illustrating that is being published on October 25th 2022 by Feiwel & Friends. How long did you it take you to illustrate the book?

I started working on the cover in October of 2020. Interior art was all illustrated by March of 2021, with the last few revisions completed by April 2021.

How did you get to illustrate Brundhilde and Sigurd for Story Time Magazine?

The art director for StoryTime Magazine was on the list that I sent samples to via email. She thought that particular story would suit my style well.

I noticed a few watercolors you were commissioned to do. Is watercolor work something you plan to continue doing?

Yes, before learning digital illustration I always enjoyed painting with traditional media, like watercolor and oil painting. I still love to paint in my free time, and will probably always be open to commissions moving forward, since I enjoy it so much!

Do you have any desire to write and illustrate picture book?

I think someday I might like to write and illustrate my own children’s book, but I think I’d need to come with a really good story idea to go through with it.

Would you be open to illustrating a self-published book for an author?

I think if I was passionate enough about the story I would!

What do you think helped develop your develop your style?

Like many other students, my style was definitely all over the place when I first started at SCAD. I think my style gradually progressed through all of the different classes and projects we had. My second year at SCAD was when I was really able to become comfortable with illustrating digitally, which helped me feel more confident to stylize shapes and experiment with color. I hope my style continues to evolve by experimenting with future projects.

Do you take research pictures before you start a project?

Before I start a project, I think it’s super helpful to create a mood-board of various pictures to help inspire my illustrations. Pinterest is a great tool for this! This includes things like color palettes, reference images, and other illustrators work that I admire.

Do you try to spend a certain number of hours on your craft?

Since art is my hobby as well as my job, it can sometimes feel hard to separate it into a work-life balance. Even though I don’t mind illustrating and creating art all day everyday, I’m still trying to figure out how to structure my days so that I have a healthy relationship with my life outside of art.

Did you use Photoshop before learning Procreate?

Yes, I learned Photoshop quite a bit before I ever used Procreate. I am very thankful that I have some flexibility with both programs and can go back and forth between the two depending on the project. While I love both programs, I do enjoy being able to take my iPad outside and get sketching done on Procreate!

Do you have a graphic tablet?

Yes, no matter where I am, my iPad is always close by. I also have a Wacom computer that I use for bigger projects/ files that exceed Procreate’s layer capacity.

Do you have a studio in your house?

As of right now my studio desk is in my bedroom,but someday I would love to have a separate space to create!

What do you think was your biggest success?

I think I am currently working on my biggest success! While I can’t say much about it, as it’s still top secret at the moment, I feel like this book in particular challenged and pushed me to improve in all aspects of my art.

Do you follow any type of routine to attain your career goals?

I would say just creating and experimenting with art daily, in multiple different mediums, whether that be cut paper, clay, traditional painting, or digital work, helps me to stay creatively motivated and allows my illustration style to grow and improve for books I illustrate in the future.

Any exciting projects on the horizon?

I have a really exciting book project on the horizon, I wish I could say more!

Do you think the Internet has opened any doors for you?

Yes definitely! I think the internet has been such an amazing tool for myself and other artists to share work and get work seen by people/clients that otherwise would maybe not have seen it.

What are your career goals?

I would love to continue to work in the children’s book market, and am looking forward to all the different stories I will have the pleasure of visually bringing to life. In the future depending on how much my style has improved, I think it would be amazing to get the opportunity to create early illustration work for an animated project.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a secret book project that I can’t wait to share!

Are there any painting tips (materials, paper, etc.) you can share that work well for you? Technique tips?

See my blog, illustration fixation.

I think feeling free to experiment with a host of different mediums during the concepting phase of a big book project is a great way to challenge and improve my art, and is so helpful when going on to develop the look of the book.

Any words of wisdom you can share with the illustrators who are trying to develop their career?

I still feel very new to this career myself, but something that’s been helpful for me is not being afraid to ask for help. Social media was (and still is) such a helpful tool for me when I was first starting in this career. Being able to find and reach out to other accomplished illustrators that have years of experience in the industry and ask about all the confusing technical aspects of children’s book illustration, like DPI and color space, was extremely helpful, and I am so thankful for the advice they were able to share.

Brittany, thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions and sharing your process. Please let me know about your future books and successes so I can share them with everyone.

You can visit Brittany using the following links:





Talk tomorrow,



  1. These are wonderful illustrations. I think my favorite is the delightful cover of The Animals Speak.


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