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Melissa Castrillón


I was born in a small town called Hitchin, just north of London. My dad is Colombian and my mum is English. I had a very creative & nature-filled childhood. We lived on the edge of the East Anglian countryside and so climbing trees and exploring the outside was normal for me.


My dad is a photographer and my mum a fantastic painter so image making has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I moved to Cambridge in 2006 to study illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. I graduated with a first class hons and two years later I embarked on an MA in children’s book illustration also at the School of Art in Cambridge. I received my first picture book commission in 2015 a year after finishing the MA, and I haven’t stopped producing books since, Ten picture books and 20 book covers later.

As an Author and Illustrator

I now live in a town called Ely, just east of Cambridge. I work in our old Victorian house in my small studio overlooking our garden and the town allotments. I work in pencil layers which I then colour digitally and composite on the computer to make the final image. Ideally I’d love to screen print all my work, but this method allows for it to look screenprinted while retaining the freedom to crop and change elements if I need to.

Ten things you didn’t know about Melissa Castrillón

  1. My favourite colour is green.
  2. My favourite food is pasta!
  3. My favourite animal is the tortoise.
  4. My favourite place is the Colombian Caribbean.
  5. My favourite flower is the sunflower.
  6. My car is called Edith.
  7. I have a small tabby cat called Chimichanga or "Chimi" for short.
  8. I can lick my elbow.
  9. I have double-jointed thumbs.
  10. I was born ten weeks early! But I’m usually late!

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