Alumni Spotlight: Elizabeth Baddeley

Elizabeth Baddeley

Tell us about yourself. What do you do?

I am an illustrator working primarily in children’s publishing.

What led you to this profession or why did you choose it?

I tried a lot of different types of freelance illustration—editorial, greeting cards, advertising, but when I discovered books it was true love. I really enjoy telling stories and being able to convey emotion through my work.

Illustration of girl reading a book

What does a typical day look like at your job?

Part of what I love about being an illustrator is that there is NO typical day! Depending on where I’m at in a project (that typically lasts 6 months to a year) my days can vary greatly. I do try to get all my business-type tasks (email, social media, photography, taxes, etc...) done in the morning, walk my dog over lunch and leave the fun, creative parts of my job for the afternoon. You have to learn what part of the day you are most efficient at different types of tasks and plan around that. Some illustrators burn the midnight oil—but that’s never been for me. I am proud of the fact that I’ve never pulled an all-nighter (not even when I was in school!).

Picture of workspace with pink desk and brightly colored illustrations

What is a favorite project you have worked on and why?

Illustrating the book I Dissent will always hold a special place in my heart. It was my first picture book and the only book where I have met the subject. Meeting Ruth Bader Ginsburg and working on her biography will be an experience that will be hard to top.

Picture of illustrated books about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Abigail Adams

What advice would you give your college self?

Take more writing, literature and history classes. Study abroad! What and how you do in college does not dictate what your career will look like. Focus on learning and exposing yourself to new ideas and experiences and the work will follow. Also, maybe take a ceramics class while you’re there.

Illustration of woman saluting

What makes you proud to be a KU Alumni?

I am proud that I went to a university where I got to experience so many things outside my chosen major—I played in the wind ensemble, worked at the school newspaper, camped out for basketball games, lived on and off campus, took so many art studios I lost track. I love that my undergrad experience was at a university where you are surrounded by so many people with different areas of focus. And getting to call Lawrence, Kansas home for five years wasn’t too shabby, either.

Learn more at Elizabeth Baddeley's Website

Illustration of girl playing tennis