Illustrator Spotlight: Kearen Enright

© Kearen Enright

May 1, 2020

We are pleased to feature illustrator Kearen Enright and her website banner design for Kidlit411 for the month of May! 


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

I have always loved creating things.  While I was busy raising my 4 children, I worked as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for 20 years. This experience has been a huge influence on my art and is my favorite source of inspiration for creative projects. Before this, I began my career working on film/theater sets and special effects for years, and now I work as a tech at the local hospital.

© Kearen Enright


I decided to focus on writing and illustrating children’s books when the local historic society asked me to write and illustrate a picture book about the history of our town. I wrote and illustrated QUARRY STORY, a 32 page picture book history of my home town, Portland, CT, which is currently used for the town’s third grade curriculum. After this project, I was hooked!

Since then, I have illustrated the first chapter of THE GREAT CONNECTICUT CAPER, which was produced as a serial for Connecticut Humanities, Center for the Book, to promote literacy. I have also illustrated three books for writers who self published their work, and  I am a member of SCBWI. I love drawing animals and nature- portraying the world as kind, fun, and beautiful as children see it.


You are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  How has that experience influenced your art?

© Kearen Enright

As much as I have always loved making art, I have always loved animals.  Being a wildlife rehabilitator has been a huge part of my life, and my family’s experience, because it has taught me the value of compassion for even the smallest creature. Rehabilitating wildlife can be difficult, but it has brought so much joy and light into my life.  Caring for all kinds of animals, in any condition, has shown me the love and strength that each animal is capable of when given a fighting chance, even if it is easy to miss in our day to day. This role has taught me endless patience and empathy, and it is uplifting to see the genuine care and concern people have for the animals they bring me.

It is always fascinating to see how each animal, like each child, has its own unique personality. I try very hard to show that in my illustrations.  I also love to show the amazement I see on children’s faces as they look at animals. This sense of joy and wonder has influenced my art, and I think my experiences have helped me become a better artist.  


Congrats on your banner design for Kidlit411.  Tell us how you approached the project.


This project appealed to me right from the start because I love to draw birds, so the idea came easily.  I tried to give each bird its own personality, and give the reader a fun personality of her own that would appeal to children.

© Kearen Enright



What projects are you working on now?

I have several projects brewing...  Of course, all of them have a nature/animal theme.  I am currently working on a wordless picture book called TREE AND ME.  I am also working on a playful book called MANNERS FOR POLITE PIGLETS and then a series of books about animals that I have cared for as a wildlife rehabilitator.  These focus on what to do when you find injured and orphaned animals.

© Kearen Enright


What is your illustration process and your favorite medium? 

 I love watercolor and watercolor pencil.  I use neocolor II watercolor pastels. I have begun doing most of my drawing digitally in Procreate.  When I get a drawing finalized, I print on arches watercolor paper for painting.

What is something most people don’t know about you?


Most people don’t know that my first career was behind the scenes work in film and theater.  I worked for shows like CATS, movies like Born on the Fourth of July, and T.V. shows like Dallas.

© Kearen Enright



Where can people find you online?

My website is www.kearen.net.  I was also featured on Connecticut Public Television’s “All Things Connecticut.”  The mini-documentary is on YouTube.  If you search my name, you can see what I do as a rehabber and an artist.

Kearen Enright is an artist, illustrator and licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  She has been a member of SCBWI since 2008.  Ms. Enright’s artwork can be seen in several galleries throughout Connecticut, and on her website:  www.kearen.net.   Kearen wrote and illustrated Quarry Story, a children’s book about the history of the brownstone quarry in her little home town of Portland, CT.  She was one of the illustrators of The Great CT Caper, a book by the CT Humanities Center to promote literacy in Connecticut.  She illustrated several books for other authors.  Kearen works in many mediums: watercolor, neocolor pastel, scratchboard, and acrylic.  

3 comments:

  1. Great interview, and what fabulous art! Thanks, Kearen and Kidlit411!

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  2. I enjoyed learning about Kearen and seeing her beautiful artwork. Look forward to those books you're currently working on, Kearen!

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  3. Wonderful! I loved reading your story, Kearen. Love the banner too, with all of it's bright colors and freshness. Thanks for sharing with us.

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