Illustrators Spotlight

Each quarter, SCBWI-Indiana is excited to feature an illustrator or author/illustrator from our region. Below you’ll find information about this quarter's featured illustrator. We encourage you to take a few minutes to learn about this Indiana artist and their art projects.

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Illustrator Spotlight

Meet Chris Sickels, the owner of Red Nose Studio. Chris is an award-winning illustrator based in Greenfield, Indiana.

Chris Sickels | Red Nose Studio

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist/illustrator?

I have always drawn, and I was fortunate that my high school art teacher, Mrs. Martin, told me that my drawings could take me places. She was the one that showed me that being an artist could be a viable career. It was my sophomore year in college, when I was introduced to what illustration was. 


What training do you have? For instance, self-trained, art school, degree?

I received a BFA in Communication Design, with an emphasis in Illustration, from The Art Academy of Cincinnati. 


What is your style and who would you say influences you?

'Wonky' may best be what describes my ’style'. I create analog 3-D illustrations with handmade characters and environments. These sets are build and photographed here in my garage studio in Greenfield, IN. My influences started with classic narrative illustration: Pyle, Wyeth, and Scheaffer to name a few. When I was introduced to offbeat stop-motion animation that ranged from The Quay Brothers, Aardman, Svankmajer, Starevich, etc. my idea of introducing non-traditional materials into illustration grew from there. I’m a people watcher, so that also feeds my visual vocabulary. 


Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to discuss, or other news to share? 

My picture book ‘BUILD!’ came out last summer, but right now work has tapered off a bit and I am taking this opportunity to focus on writing stories and exploring seeds of characters that live in my sketchbooks. 


How/where can people reach out to you?

Folks can find my work at and follow along on Instagram at

Past Illustrator Spotlights

Chris Sickels
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Amanda M Anderson
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Jonathan Bouw
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Shelley Hanmo
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Sharon Vargo
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Andy Jewett
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