Jessica Lanan
About Me

Hello, and welcome! Jessica Lanan is an award-winning author, illustrator and painter living in Boulder, Colorado. Jessica aims to help young readers discover the beauty and diversity of their world by creating picture books that are inspiring, accessible and memorable.

Jessica's first book as an author,The Fisherman and the Whale, was published in 2019 and was awarded the 2020 Bull-Bransom Award for Wildife Art. She has illustrated many others including The Lost Package by Richard Ho and Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley. Her next book, Jumper will be published in 2023.

Jessica grew up in Longmont, Colorado and spent a lot of her childhood outside hiking and camping in the Rocky Mountains. She studied fine art at Scripps College and after graduation traveled solo for a year in various parts of Asia on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study and illustrate folk tales. She brought set of travel watercolors on that trip and has been painting ever since.

Please have a look around to explore Jessica'sart and illustration, to read more about her books, and to find free downloads and other extras for your home or classroom. If you'd like to learn more about Jessica's plein air painting process, click here. For the latest sketches, videos and more follow Jessica on Instagram, Twitter or Youtube.

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Awards and Lists

The Fisherman and the Whale

Just Right

  • SCBWI Golden Kite Honor, 2020
  • Bank Street College of Education Best Book, 2020
  • Chicago Public Library best informational book for young readers, 2019
  • ALA Notable Book, 2020
  • A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2019

Other Stuff

  • Colorado Watercolor Society State Show, Third Place, 2020
  • Amazon Best Nonfiction Book of 2019: Finding Narnia
  • APALA Award, picture book category, 2011: Good Fortune in a Wrapping Cloth
  • Thomas J. Watson Fellow, 2006-2007