Illustrator Spotlight: E. B. Goodale

© E. B. Goodale

Sept. 15, 2017

Today we have the pleasure of featuring picture book illustrator E. B. Goodale and her forthcoming book, WINDOWS! written by Julia Denos (Candlewick Press, Oct. 2017).

Enter to win one of THREE copies from her publisher.

Tell us about yourself and how you came to illustrate for children.

I’ve always been entrenched in the arts since I was very small. I started playing violin at age 5 and continued into adulthood, although at age 18 I decided to pursue visual art instead of music. I attended a Mass College of Art and worked in a bookstore throughout college. 

I’ve always loved picture books, but really became educated about them when I started working at the children’s branch of the bookstore. After leaving the bookstore I worked in several letterpress shops as a press operator, all the while working on my illustrations. 

© E. B. Goodale

In 2012, I started my own line of card designs with stationer, Smudge Ink, which really helped me develop a commercial style. The work I did with them informed my children’s illustration and I began to a see more positive response in that arena. I had a couple false starts on books that fell through until my dear friend, Julia Denos, came to me with the manuscript for WINDOWS. We pitched it together to Candlewick, and the rest is history!

Congrats on your forthcoming book, WINDOWS! Tell us about the book and how you approached illustrating it.

Thank you! I am very excited for the world to meet WINDOWS. Since the book takes place in a neighborhood with lots of detail and architecture, I used my own city as inspiration. I’ve always taken evening walks around my neighborhood so I already had a catalog of my favorite places saved in my mind before I even put pencil to paper. Lucky for me, I was living in Somerville, MA at the time, which is a very diverse, eclectic community adjacent to Boston, so I had access to a wide range of visual and cultural inspiration.

© E. B. Goodale

Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between?

It was definitely long and windy! I knew I wanted to illustrate children’s books back in 2004. I was a senior in college majoring in illustration with a focus of printmaking, but really what got me obsessed with picture books was my job at the children’s bookstore. From there I went on to work in a letterpress shops for 10 years, all the while trying to break into the publishing industry. I made some good connections and think that my work improved along the way, but at times it was challenging to be resilient.

What projects are you working on now?

Right now I am illustrating a book entitled A KISS FOR AKARAKA by the legendary children’s book editor, Richard Jackson. It is a wonderfully simple story that turns an ordinary Fall day into a magical one. It is slated to come out Fall 2018 with Greenwillow. I also just finished a book called A MOST UNUSUAL DAY by Sydra Mallery, also with Greenwillow for Spring 2018.

© E. B. Goodale

What is your favorite medium, and who are your artistic influences?

I love using black acrylic ink with brushes. I also include a lot of printmaking techniques in my illustrations like monoprint, etching or letterpress. The unpredictable quality of printmaking invigorates me. I am so inspired by the work of Evaline Ness, Ben Shahn, Suzy Lee, Sydney Smith, Martin and Alice Provensen...the list goes on and on.

What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?

Keep at it. Always be creating images even if you have no reason to...make up a reason! The more you practice, the better your work will be and you will find your voice. I was surprised to find that art directors had actually been paying attention to my work long before I ended up working with them. 

© E. B. Goodale

Sending postcards to editors and art directors can feel like mailing into a void, but it really does matter. Also, learn to take criticism without taking it personally!

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I love playing piano, although I am not very good!

© E. B. Goodale

Where can people find you online?

Instagram: @ebgoodale
Twitter: @ebgoodale

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E. B. Goodale is an illustrator, printmaker and designer who is slightly obsessed with fluffy cats and the color yellow. She comes from a background of letterpress printing and designing for stationery and made her foray into children’s books with Windows, written by Julia Denos and published by Candlewick Press. She creates from her home in historic Salem, MA where she lives with her husband, her son, and a tiny cat. 


  1. Gorgeous work! Your buildings made me nostalgic for when I went to Tufts. I know Somerville, MA well

  2. Beautiful work! Congrats on your book and I wish you much success!

  3. WINDOWS looks delightful. I can't wait to read it and enjoy the illustrations.

  4. Well-done art! I like the "No" illustration!

  5. I'm really looking forward to seeing all your windows...can't wait to read Windows!

  6. I admire the way your windows glow. I too have always enjoyed night time walks and seeing lit windows on homes and businesses too. In the winter it reminds me how cozy i'll feel once I get back home. your illustrations show such movement too and are fun to study.

  7. E.B., your illustrations are gorgeous! Love the details in WINDOWS and look forward to reading it!

  8. Beautiful artwork! I love how you combined line with color in the cat picture.

  9. Thanks for sharing. Love your style!

  10. You illustrations are invigorating. Looking forward to WINDOWS!

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