Mari Richards - illustrator, author, toy designer, artist

Hi! I’m Mari (rhymes with stary) Richards and I’m an illustrator, author, toy designer, and artist. I love drawing and painting our natural world; quirky, mischievous animals and kids; and whimsical, magical worlds.

I can’t wait to share my illustrations in the Archie and Pip book series, debuting in June 2024! I’m also a finalist in the 2023 and 2024 PBParty competition, a long list winner of the British 2023 Searchlight Award, and a member of SCBWI.

I’m usually sipping tea and staring out the window of my studio, creating lots of illustrations, toys, surface pattern designs, and kids products for clients. I’ve gathered over 30 industry awards along the way. Some of my favorite career highlights include designing with Jellycat; surface patter designing with Nuby; toy designing as a Senior Product Designer at Manhattan Toy; creating the successful design blog Small for Big, being an original Pinfluencer; and teaching as an Adjunct Art Professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).

I firmly believe making things is a daily requirement. You can find me sketching, gathering rocks and feathers, sniffing every book I read (and some I don’t), and living a chaotic, wonderful life with my husband, daughter, and two rescue mutts near St. Paul, MN.

I am represented by Hilary Harwell at KT Literary.

Select Clients

  • Cottage Door Press
  • Jellycat
  • Nuby
  • Manhattan Toy
  • Target
  • Skip Hop
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Cirque du Soleil