Lindsey Yankey

Illustrator and Author
Lawrence, KS
Primary office:


Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Lindsey Yankey and I am an illustrator and author of picture books. I've always had an interest in picture books and once I found my way into the illustration program at KU, I felt like I was finally in the right place. I've published both picture books that I've illustrated and written myself as well as illustrated picture books written by other authors.

What led you to this profession or why did you choose it?

For a long time, I thought about becoming an elementary teacher, then art teacher, and eventually I began to understand that I could combine lots of my interests and loves into one profession. Picture books are such a fantastic medium to put ideas out into the world, to play, and explore creatively.

What does a typical day look like at your job?

When I'm on a book deal my job really varies depending on the phase the book is in. My timeline is usually about a year or a little more. I take the manuscript through the illustration process start to finish, (much like they teach illustration at KU by the way) I work through rough sketches, research, character development, thumbnails and composition studies, value studies, color studies, and then into final illustrations and transferring them to digital files to get ready for print.

What is a favorite project you have worked on and why?

My favorite project to date was my last book I illustrated called My Grandma and Me, written by Mina Javaherbin. It was a privilege to work on Mina's story that so closely resonated with me and my relationship with my own grandma. I've also always really enjoyed the research component of illustrating, so to dive into Iranian culture and find ways to reference it while maintaining my own visual voice was a challenge I really enjoyed. I also had a fantastic Art Director for that book and that alone was a huge privilege. All around it was a great experience.

What advice would you give your college self?

Keep exploring, developing, and practicing. Don't forget it's supposed to be fun too, so make it fun!

What makes you proud to be a KU Alumni?

To this day I'm grateful for the instruction I received at KU. The Illustration program gave me a thorough understanding of how to illustrate and it's a process and structure I still use today.

Learn more about Lindsey at