Jennifer Zivoin

Illustrator Study

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Residence: Carmel, Indiana

Family: Married with 1 daughter (Olivia)

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree with highest distinction from the honors division of Indiana Univesiersity

Represented by: MB Artists

Professional Organizations: Society for Children's Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

Honors: May 7, Illustrator of the week

Projects: illustrating children's books, other children's products, cards, and postcards

Hobbies: Blogging, cooking, reading to her daughter, and Ballroom dancing-especially tango!

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Jennifer always dreamed of becoming an illustrator for children's books. During junior high and high school she continously practiced drawing animation. She decided at a young age that she wanted to become an artist. Jennifer worked with different media in college, including figure drawing and virtual reality. This process helped her realize that she wanted to unite imagery with storytelling. After college, she began a career in graphic design, becoming a creative director at a multimedia design company. She has worked in this field over 30 years. Through freelance illustration, Jennifer is able to work on a variety of projects. She most enjoys collaborating with writers to bring their characters to life. Her portfolio includes artwork that has appeared in children's books, on the cover of magazines, on websites, and as educational materials.


Watercolor and mixed media illustration, digital illustration, project management, creative direction, and art direction are her specialties. Most of her paintings for books are vibrantly colored watercolors, with slight colored pencil touch ups. Her work includes drawings of animals, humans, fantasy, health, and faith based subjects.

Jennifer's Advice on getting started as a freelance illustrator

Personally connect with other artists for feedback and perspective.

Attend national and regional SCBWI conferences to connect with artists, art directors, agents, and directors.

Use online social networks to create critique groups with other artists whose opinions you trust.

Use your artistic community and industry professionals to share techniques and exchange sketches to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement.

You must be self-disciplined, motivated, and possess a business sense.

Understand that most illustrators do not graduate and jump right into an illustration career. You may need to work a steady job, while building your portfolio. This could mean working 60+ hours a week

Practice, practice, practice your craft. Develop your own distinct style.

In order to get your work noticed, buy a domain and website, print promotional postcards and send them to art directors at publishing houses.

You may want to obtain an agent once your work is published.

Research the industry, understand pricing, rights, contracts, tax deductions, record keeping, and publishers.

Most Recent Publications

The Summer Fairy / author - Elizabeth Kelly Gillihan / publisher - Cherished Reflections

Riley Mae Series / author - Jill Osborne / publisher - Zonderkidz

How Can I Help? God's Calling For Kids / author - Mary J. Moerbe /

publisher - Concordia Publishing

Putter And Sandy's Great Golf Adventure Series No.2 & The Club in My Bag /

author - Kris E. Wilson / publisher - The Littlest Golfer Inc

The Lily Series / author - Nancy Rue / publisher - Thomas Nelson

Jack and the Toddler / author - Sindy McKay / publisher - Treasure Bay Inc

The Great Katie Kate Series / author - M. Maitland Deland /

publisher - Greenleaf Book Group Press

Reuben Rides the Rails / author - B.G. McLaughlin / publisher - AuthorHouse


"Katie Kate Get Up & Move"
"All My Stripes"
"Highlights Hidden Pictures"
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The Lily Series

Jennifer Zivoin has beautifully illustrated Nancy Rue’s Lily Series. The target audience for this series of books is girls of the Christian faith between the ages of 5th grade to 9th grade. The Lily Series covers subjects important to this age group including puberty, healthy living, and friendships.

The Great Katie Kate Series

The Great Katie Kate series, written by M. Maitland DeLand, M.D., tackles health issues faced by children. In these books the red-headed superhero, the Great Katie Kate, discusses issues such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, and epilepsy all as part of this series. DeLand partnered with Jennifer Zivoin to have her illustrate her books.

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Highlights High Five Hidden Pictures

Jennifer enjoys working on illustrations for Highlights High Five Hidden Pictures magazine. Her artwork has been featured on the cover of the magazine. She continues to draw for them.

The Summer Fairy Trailer**

The Summer Fairy

The Summer Fairy written by Elizabeth Gillahan and illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin is a fun way to kick off any child's summer. The idea behind the book is that the summer fairy will visit you overnight on the last day of school. The child simply leaves the fairy a flower and the fairy will leave a basket of goodies to be used throughout the summer. Gillihan designed a book trailer showing many of Zivoin's illustrations.

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jack and the toddler

The illustrations for the picture book Jack and the Toddler was the first Jennifer did with digital painting. The book by Paul Orshoski is a story about Jack excitedly waiting for a visitor to play with him. Right until he learns the boy visiting is a toddler! How will he have fun with a baby?

The Riley Mae Series (Faithgirlz! Good News Shoes Series)

Written by Jill Osborne and published by Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan Publishing.

Jennifer Zivoin created the covers and the spot art chapter headers for these chapter books for pre-teen girls.

How Can I Help? God's calling for kids

This sweet picture book, written by Mary J. Moerbe and illustrated by Jennifer Zoin, helps children understand that everyone is called to serve God, no matter their age
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Clubs In My Bag

Clubs In My Bag is a picture book commissioned by The Littlest Golfer. The basic elements of golf are introduced to the reader in a fun way through the characters of Putter and Sandy. The book includes a page for identifying key equipment and building a basic knowledge of golf.

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Reuben rides the rails

Reuben Rides the Rails was Jennifer Zivoin’s first full picture book. She was commissioned by The Children's Museum of Indianapolis to introduce the real Reuben Wells Steam Engine displayed in their “All Aboard” exhibit. The author is B.G. McLaughlin.

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Kathryn and Elizabeth Go Shopping

Two sisters, Kathryn and Elizabeth, have to decide whether to save their allowance or spend it. While that is interesting, I find how she created the illustrations to be the most interesting. Zivoin had complete control of this book’s look and layout, from imagery to text. Her graphic design expertise came into play as she integrated the text with the imagery, choosing the accent fonts while working on the illustrations. Textures and patterns were scanned and incorporated into her illustrations. She said the hardest part was choosing textures that would blend well with her digital painting technique.

The patterns and textures were scanned and their color was adjusted to be used to create clothing, fabric, floors, wallpaper and other elements to bring greater detail and uniqueness to each image.

Visit Jennifer as she blogs on her own site at
Jennifer is a regular contributor to the blog "Once Upon A Sketch." The blog is meant to be an educational resource for illustrators, giving them insight, interviews, articles, and news about different facets of the Children's Illustration Market. These facets include children's books, character design, game art, storyboarding, toys and licensed products.
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top 5 websites

1. I found the most information on Zivoin’s

blog. There were many pictures of her illustrations. She discussed projects she

has worked on, release dates, book signings, publishing, representation, and gave

advice. This website would be better used by middle school aged children and

older. Teacher's would also enjoy this site.

2. I found a great deal of information on Zivoin’s website

This website is very well designed. It was easy to find a short biography about Zivoin, a gallery of her illustrations, and her contact information. I believe this website could be used easily by children and adults.

3. Jennifer is a contributor on this website. The advice

she gives on this website/blog would be helpful to up and coming illustrators. It is

not a visually appealing website and a little harder to navigate through it. This is

better suited toward 9th grade - teachers.

4. The website is owned

by Jennifer Zivoin’s representative, MBartists. It has the same biography

information that her blog has on it. However, it did give a list of her recent

projects. This website would be helpful to middle school aged and up and teachers.

5. has a very good gallery of Zivoin's illustrations. This site is most helpful to find pictures of her illustrations. I believe elementary aged children would enjoy looking at the pictures on this site.

print sources

Jennifer Zivoin is mentioned eight times on page 78 of Something About the Author, Volume 212 for illustrating the Pirate School Series. She is also mentioned once in Volume 264 on page 99.

Jennifer Zivoin was not found in Talking With the Artists.


The following databases included articles that mentioned Jennifer Zivoin.

Academic Search Premier:

Title: The Great Katie Kate Tackles Questions About Cancer. By: Smith-D'Arezzo, Wendy, School Library Journal, 03628930, Aug2010, Vol. 56, Issue 8

Title: Jack and the Toddler/My Sitter Is a T-Rex! By: Chamow, Elaine, School Library Journal, 03628930, Dec2011, Vol. 57, Issue 12

ProQuest Education Journals:

Anonymous. The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books' (Spring 2011): 16-51.

Anonymous. The Horn Book Guide to Children's and Young Adult Books 21.2 (Fall 2010): 290-319.

Preview'Great Katie Kate' helps children bravely deal with cancer, Anonymous. The Herald [Everett, Wash] 24 Aug 2010.

Kids' book deals with tough topic: cancer, Mears, Kristin. McClatchy - Tribune News Service [Washington] 18 Aug 2010.

Children's Books for Spring:P, Lodge, Sally. Publishers Weekly 256.7 (Feb 16, 2009)

PreviewChildren's Books for Fall: M - P, Lodge, Sally. Publishers Weekly 255.29 (Jul 21, 2008)

PreviewChildren's Books for Spring: D - G, Lodge, Sally. Publishers Weekly 255.7 (Feb 18, 2008)

PreviewChildren's Books for Fall: G, Lodge, Sally. Publishers Weekly 254.28 (Jul 16, 2007): 34.

PreviewChildren's Books for Spring: D - G, Lodge, Sally. Publishers Weekly 254.8 (Feb 19, 2007): 77.


I was able to obtain more useable information from the websites, blogs, and databases I found. Her website gave the most information about her as a person and was the most useful. Her blog gave more information about her projects. I believe her website and the website of her representation is accurate. None of the resources in print or a website included information about her childhood. I would have liked learning about her childhood. I did not find any contradictions between electronic or print sources.

I found it easier to look up information online and believe students would also. Some electronic sources are easier to navigate than others, but children are adapt at navigating these sources. It is much more interesting to click a button and see beautiful illustrations or watch a video. Jennifer Zivoin’s website and blog were the most helpful.


Bolinao, M. (n.d.). MB Artists: jennifer zivoin. Retrieved July 11, 2014, from (n.d.). Jennifer Zivoin. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Grock, N. (n.d.). Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

How Can I Help? God's Calling For Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved July 16, 2014, from (n.d.). Jennifer Zivoin. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from http://picture- (n.d.). Jennifer Zivoin. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Zivoin, J. (n.d.). JZ•Artworks: The art of jennifer zivoin. Retrieved July 11, 2014, from

Zivoin, J. (n.d.). JZ ArtBlog. Retrieved July 15, 2014, from

Illustrator Study - Jennifer Zivoin

By Rhonda R. Nolin
Dr. Betty Morris
July 15, 2014