Hi.

How nice of you to stop by!

I'm an author and illustrator of children's books, based in Brooklyn, NY. I've illustrated over 30 books and have been lucky to have the opportunity to work with many clients during my almost twenty year career. This includes, but isn't limited to: Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books, Clarion Books, HMHCo, Viking, Scholastic, Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster, and Random House.

From the time I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to write and illustrate children’s books. I used to staple paper together and make tiny books for my dolls.

I live with my husband, Denis Markell (also a children's book author), and teenage son in a teeny, tiny apartment. My painting area and computer space do double duty.

desk-1 Melissa Iwai 2018.jpg

I like to incorporate both traditional media (watercolor, gouache, India ink, colored pencils, graphite) and digital software (Photoshop, Illustrator) in my work.

After sustaining an arm injury last year, I had to change my computer set up, and now I use an Ipad Pro and the Astropad Studio app which allows me to sync screens with my Mac Mini. I love it because I can work at my table or at the kitchen table or counter or on the couch!

 This is a close up of the final illustration I started with done in hand painted watercolor.

This is a close up of the final illustration I started with done in hand painted watercolor.

When I'm not creating visual art, I am often cooking, developing recipes, and baking. My next big book project I am currently working on is a DIY themed Birthday Day Party book which will have crafts, cakes, party food, and games and puzzles.

 Me photographing a Princess party spread for the book.

Me photographing a Princess party spread for the book.

I also love to make miniature food in my spare time. Thanks for popping in for a look at my world! :)

 Carb spread for Thanksgiving! 

Carb spread for Thanksgiving!