We have a world-class illustrator here at Kutztown University. Her name is Elham Atayi. A grad student from Iran, yes. IRAN!, she’s working on her MFA in Communication Design. Steve Heller, one of the most important design writers in the U.S, admires her work. Heller did a wonderful interview via email with Elham in 2015 for Print Magazine before she ever arrived in the U.S.A.
Elham has illustrated several children’s books for the Lebanese publisher, Asala. She would love to illustrate a children’s book for a U.S. publisher. She is learning it isn’t easy.
Elham just won another international award. She was selected as one of the Top 10 Illustrators of 2016 by COW (Center Of the World) festival. The award is presented by The Ukranian Design Guild. The COW award might sound funny, however, the jury included Anita Kunz of Canada and Francisco Valle of Brazil, among other world famous artists.
Elham has also been selected as a finalist for Shanghai’s Golden Pinwheel design award. At Kutztown she is working to develop computer animations in her distinctive style.
There is a need for diverse books for children in the U.S today. I can’t think of any artist better suited to illustrate a story set in Iran than Elham Atayi. She also has drawn commentaries on modern life in her homeland. If you would like to see more of Elham’s work or contact her, visit her Behance page here.