I draw and write for children (that includes the kid in anyone). I work in different media, including gouache, watercolor, colored pencils, and digital.

I am an SCBWI member and in February 2024 won the San Diego SCBWI chapter’s “Own Voices” Grant for Best Illustrator. This is my second award for illustration; in April 2020 I received the San Diego SCBWI Diversity Award for Best Emerging Artist. In May 2023 I won an author-illustrator mentorship with PBRisingStars. In April 2023 I was awarded the Florence Tan Moesen Fellowship by the Library of Congress, in Washington DC, to conduct research in its Asian archives for a picture book biography project. This manuscript was accepted to the Big Sur Writers’ Workshop in Monterey, California, which I attended in February 2024.

My original hometown is Vancouver, Canada. In my spare time I teach about children and media in consumer society at the University of California, San Diego, where I earned my PhD in communication studies. I’m also what they call an accomplished classical pianist. So naturally I’ve yearned to master jazz. Luckily, my cats don’t complain when I try to improv.

If you’re interested in my work, please follow or drop me a line via Instagram @nancystarklee.

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