Z.B. Asterplume began her illustration career as a scenic artist for the Denver Center Theater Company. In her current work as a creator for children, she’s carried the theatrical techniques of design and tone—those origins of drama—into distinctively endearing, whimsically-rendered illustrations.
Z.B. draws with pencil and eventually colors her illustrations digitally in Procreate on an iPad. She grounds her art with a traditional approach, teases it with texture, builds it up with a tight palette, and then *magic*-itizes it with a whole lot of fantasy, painting her words with sparse but evocative text. With a shout out to her 1920’s Underwood typewriter, Z.B.’s recent cut paper stop-motion animation project, SONNET,was developed entirely on her iPad (and will soon be out on submission as a picture book).
From Sonnet, a work-in-progress
A little girl struggles with big emotions until,
with the help of an old typewriter,
she shifts her world.
And speaking of picture books, Z.B.‘s debut Sometimes, a Tiger (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, July 2023) just got a star from SLJ: “If George Bailey, facing ruin in “It’s A Wonderful Life,” wrestled the illustrations away from Anthony Browne (Ernest the Elephant, Gorilla), the result would be Asterplume’s optimistic debut … (she) has a perfect grasp of the give-and-take between pictures and text.”
From Sometimes, a Tiger (Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan, July 2023)
The star of this book is Empathy, along with the stunning art
by debut creator Z.B. Asterplume.
(F&F advance promotion)
Z.B. lived most of her life in Colorado, where she and her family still call home. Fun fact: Z.B.’s mother encouraged her artistic talent from the start and even allowed her to draw on the walls of her bedroom! Another fun fact: yes, Z.B. Asterplume is a nom de plume. Zilla Brownsly Asterplume, in case you were wondering. Find Z.B. at @Z.B.Asterplume.
The Illustrator Highlight is a monthly publication featuring some of the artistic talent represented by East West Literary Agency.
DEBORAH WARREN, EAST WEST LITERARY AGENCY
East West Literary Agency, LLC specializes in children’s books of all genres, from concept, novelty and picture books through young adult literature and everything in between.
We represent both authors and illustrators.