Calef Brown

Illustrator and children’s book author Calef Brown studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. He is author and illustrator of a dozen books for children including Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories (1998), a collection of story poems that won the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award for Poetry; Dutch Sneakers and Fleakeepers: 14 More Stories (2000), a Parents’ Choice Recommended Winner; Tippintown: A Guided Tour (2003); Flamingos on the Roof: Poems and Paintings (2006), winner of the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry and a 2007 Children’s Book Council Choice; Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness (2010), Boy Wonders (2011), Pirateria (2012) and most recently Hypnotize a Tiger(2015). Using engaging and nonsensical characters, Brown crafts narrative story-poems with accompanying paintings and drawings. In interviews, he has cited wordplay, dreams and the rhythms of music as inspirations.

A well-known illustrator, Brown carries a notebook for daily sketching and has illustrated the work of a variety of authors, including Daniel Pinkwater, Edward Lear and Jonah Winter. Brown’s illustrations have also appeared in Newsweek, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time and Travel + Leisure. He has taught illustration at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, the Maine College of Art in Portland and, most recently, Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver, BC.

Fall 2022

ILLUS-3052-01 Animalia
ILLUS-3638-01 Picturing Sound: Music + Illustration

Spring 2023

ILLUS-2004-08 Visual Strategies
ILLUS-3432-01 Illustrative Typography
ILLUS-505G-01 Graduate Illustration Studio II: Narrative Structures
RISD faculty member Calef Brown
  • BFA, Art Center College of Design