Melissa Castrillon
The Balcony

Children's Publishing

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
I pitched a wordless picture book to my publisher. The story is of a girl who has to move to a city and to overcome her sadness she creates her own botanical world which as a consequence touches the lives of those around her. I knew i needed a simple narrative on which to build a more extravagant visual world and to use colour as a key for conveying emotion throughout the book.

How was the illustration used:
A wordless picture book aimed for kids between the ages of 4-8. The illustration was used for 44 interior pages, plus endpapers, jacket and case artwork.

How did you make this work:
This book has a limited colour palette of 5 colours and each colour started life as a B&W pencil layer which i hand drew onto paper using a light box. I made the artwork for this book like i would a screen print, except the colour is digitally created in PS from the B&W pencil layers which i then scan, clean up, digitally colour and composite together to make the final image.

Commissioner Name :
Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster US
Commissioner Company :
Simon & Schuster US

Social Media:

Personal Website:
Agent Website:

Currently Based:
Living and working in Cambridge, U.K.

Melissa Castrillón is an illustrator with a particular passion for print, pattern and punchy color combos. She attended the Cambridge School of Art and earned a 1st Class BA in illustration in 2009 and a MA in children’s book illustration in 2014. Since 2015 Melissa has illustrated 9 picture books for UK and international publishers, three of which she wrote and illustrated. She also runs an online shop selling limited edition screen prints to keep her love for traditional printing alive.