© 2018 Kay Widdowson. Designed by Scratchy Hen Design.

About me

I’m a freelance illustrator based in Chorlton, Manchester. I’ve made a living from my art for the past 34 years. Originally from Shirebrook a small mining village in Derbyshire, I studied at Chesterfield College of Art and Design where I found my love of illustration and design. 


In 1983 I moved up to Manchester to work as an animator in children’s television for five years before going freelance. Since then I have worked freelance as an illustrator for children’s books and my work has been published worldwide.


For the past 3 years I’ve been developing a new look with my style and I now love licensing my illustrations for products, textiles, wall art, cards and gift wrap. I’m always producing new work and I have a head and sketch books full of ideas.


All my work is hand- drawn and painted in gouache, felt-tip pens and coloured pencils in a messy way. I then scan and play around in photoshop. I’ve recently started to build up my images in layers which is now opening lots of new opportunities for me.


My tiny home and studio is on the edge of chorlton meadows/nature reserve so with beautiful wildlife and plants  all around I’m never short of inspiration!

I’ve just set up an Instagram feed so I can sometimes post work in progress, little experimental pieces, work just published, as well as plenty of cat photos. A little journal of my creative life!


I can’t think of anything better I’d rather do than go into my studio everyday followed by my old cat Pablo, radio on, paintbrush in hand, coffee and biscuits at the ready and paint all day.


I love to work to a commission/brief and to develop ideas with an art director so please email me if you need to see more of my work or ask any questions.


My recent clients include:


David Watson Designs

The World of Cross Stitching Magazine

Goldleaf Needlework

Pattern Weights

Mouse and Magpie

Child’s Play International

Museums and Galleries

Lion Hudson,

Mom Books

Silag Germany


North Parade Publishing,

Blue Rabbit Korea

Design House Greetings

Miles Kelly