Illustrator Shane Johnson creates logos, characters and superheroes for well-know brands and agencies. But his new work is for his most critical audience – kids. Regarding his latest editorial and educational assignment, Shane explains, ”I became an illustrator because I loved comics. I still love telling a story in pictures.”

A waitress hands a young girl a pie, from illustrator Shane Johnson

Commissioned for a classroom reader, the drawings depict the story of sisters who cook up an elaborate plan so they can spend more time with their hard-working dad. “Inevitably, the plan goes wrong and lessons are learned,” Shane says.

A working dad puts his arms around his daughters at a diner counter, from illustrator Shane Johnson

Typically, the story lines are final when Shane receives them, but he gets a lot of freedom to create the visual world where everything takes place. “The diner was the main setting,” says Shane, “so I started by roughing out a full floor plan to tie in specific scenes. It was fun bringing it all together – I even designed the diner logo.”

A girls gives out samples of pie outside a diner, from illustrator Shane Johnson

Given his background in character work, it’s no surprise that developing the people was Shane’s favorite part of the job. “The client had a clear vision for the family, but all the secondary characters were left to my imagination, so I got to make my mark,” he says. You can see more of Shane’s commercial and editorial work here.

A girl in a diner scene looks surprised and worried, from illustrator Shane Johnson