Ingvard the Terrible for NPR

Ingvard the Terrible (Sean Ashby) created an illustration of a teacher and two students playing with blocks for the article, What Good Preschool Looks Like: Snapshots From 4 States, featured on NPR’s website.

The article gives examples of what it takes to get preschool right.

View more of Ingvard’s work through his Play! Illustration portfolio and at

Brian Allen: Bogard Press

Brian Allen created these concept illustrations of a steampunk family of adventurers for an educational publisher called Bogard Press. The character designs will be used to illustrate their educational materials and lessons. Each year the team uses a different theme and concept to tie their lessons together.

Brian says:

“I really enjoyed the whole process, from developing the characters in sketches, to coloring and rendering the final versions. I tried to add a bit of style to the characters to keep them from becoming generic. I especially enjoyed creating the robot character.”

Check out Brian’s work on his Play! Illustration portfolio and at

©Brian Allen

©Brian Allen

©Brian Allen

©Brian Allen


Louise Gardner: Say Hello

Louise Gardner worked with Delta Publishing to create over 200 illustrations for a new learning book titled, Say Hello. Say Hello is a two-level kindergarten eEnglish course for four to five year-olds, written by Judy West. You can check out more information on the educational book here.

More work from Louise Gardner can be seen through her Play! Illustration Portfolio and at

Nicole Louise Say Hello Page Bees copy

Nicole Louise Say Hello stars copy

Say He spvv

Say Hello games sp VV

Say hello cover pvv

Eric Deschamps: Fablehaven Art Process

Eric Deschamps is both a sci-fi/fantasy illustrator and a video game concept artist. For the past decade Eric has worked with a diverse list of clients including publishing, video game and advertising companies. His illustrations have been recognized in 7 volumes of ‘Spectrum: Best In Contemporary Fantastic Art’ as well as ‘Expose: Finest Digital Art.’ Eric’s work recently received a silver award and an honorable mention by the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles ‘Illustration West Annual’.

One of Eric’s recent projects included illustrations for the Fablehaven series. Below, Eric breaks down his process for creating the artwork in Fablehaven Book 3 of 5, Grip of the Shadow Plague

You can see more of Eric’s work through his Play! Illustration portfolio and website.

Seth encounters the demon Graulus:


© Eric Deschamps

Hugo as the main focal point taking out dark centaurs easily:


© Eric Deschamps

The Shadowman lurks behind the kids:


© Eric Deschamps

Dark creatures vs. light creatures battle scene. This was the selected sketch, though the final art was streamlined down to just the kids on the back of the centaur plus a of couple dark satyrs:


© Eric Deschamps

Final art:


© Eric Deschamps


© Eric Deschamps


© Eric Deschamps

New Illustrated Children’s Book by Hot Frog Graphics

Paul  Morton of Hot Frog Graphics just released his first picture book, The birthday that went with a bang as part of a new school program called First Aid Friends  designed to teach children valuable skills in First Aid.

Paul was commissioned to design, create and illustrate the main characters – Felix and Flip – and also helped write and develop the story.

Check out a few of the illustrations below. Great job Paul!

Paul Morton / Hot Frog Graphics

Paul Morton / Hot Frog Graphics

Paul Morton / Hot Frog Graphics

Paul Morton / Hot Frog Graphics

Paul Morton / Hot Frog Graphics

Educational Tools for Children

Featured Image Cedric Hohnstadt

Illustration and design for the toy industry isn’t solely about fun and games. The Play! artists also create a variety of artwork used alongside educational materials for children.

Here are just a few:

Terry Sirrell


Educational art for a Math book cover


Geo Parkin / American Artists Reps, Inc


Geo Parkin’s activity book


Roc Goudreau / PG Representatives


School Zone line of interactive educational software


Earl Ridgell


Cedric Hohnstadt


Concept sketch for a “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” shape puzzle toy


Prescott Hill

Prescott Hill

Cover design for a preschool music CD


Monkey Doodle Dandy Inc.


Action Impulse Studios


Artwork for Houghton Mifflin textbook on fundamentals of mathematics

You can explore more work from our diverse talent pool directly through Play!

Artist Spotlight: Mike Dammer

Mike Dammer is an award winning illustrator who was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. He graduated from St. Xavier University where he studied art and business. Upon graduation he continued his studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago while working full time at Vanides-Mlodock design studio. He then worked at a greeting card company for one year, and has been freelancing ever since.

Mike creates fun and wacky high energy illustrations for clients worldwide. Throughout the years he has worked on concepts and development for gameboards and electronic and educational toys. He’s created art for packaging, products, brochures and print ads. He’s also developed characters for logos, apps, branding and greeting cards, anything from small icons to roadside billboards. He has also illustrated numerous childrens books, activity books, and educational books and has worked with clients such as Houghton Mifflin, Scholastics, McGraw Hill and more!





You can check out more of Mike Dammer’s work through his Play! Illustration Portfolio or by visiting his website.