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Randy Cecil

As a child

I was born in Houston, Texas. Illustrating picture books is all I have ever wanted to do, and I spent almost all my time drawing as a child. At age four I wrote letters, with pictures included, to my favourite illustrators. My mother tells me I also included “tips” on how they might make their books better. Surprisingly, Joel Schick and Uri Shulevitz wrote me back!

As an adult

After high school I went to Otis/Parsons School of Design (now Otis Art Institute) in Los Angeles, but left to work and travel for two years before returning to school at Rhode Island School of Design, where I graduated. I was lucky to get an internship as an assistant designer for a children’s publishing company the summer before my senior year. They offered me my first book right around the time I graduated, as well as a job as a freelance designer for them when they were busy, which turned out to be a lot of the time.

As an artist

I like to start to work early almost every day and go until I get tired. I work at my dining room table (the same table I eat at), because it’s a big table and the light is good. At this point, I have illustrated around twenty books, three of which I wrote.

Things you didn't know about Randy Cecil

  1. I live with a rescued Pomeranian named Lucy.
  2. If I am not painting, drawing or writing, I am probably walking with, caring for, or playing with Lucy.
  3. I have been in the same rock band for 28 years (from the age of thirteen). We have written nearly 400 songs, but we have only played live 5 times. One of those shows was a “benefit concert,” played in the living room of a neighbour who had the chickenpox.
  4. We had lots of animals around when I was growing up – dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, geese, goats, turkeys, guinea pigs, hamsters, cockatiels, turtles, fish, and for a short time, a very unfriendly raccoon.
  5. One summer I worked at a cannery in Alaska.
  6. I worked part time one year as a reference librarian at Rhode Island School of Design. The best part of that job was retrieving the small edition and original art books from a locked area. I always browsed through the books before returning them.
  7. I do not own a watch or cell phone.
  8. I could swim before I could walk.
  9. I am a middle child.
  10. I have a box filled with hundreds of my childhood drawings.

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