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Esther Kent sits at desk in a striped top. ©
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Hello! I'm an illustrator living in Scotland working in colurful mixed media (mostly collage, coloured pencil and gouache paint with some digital tools) for all sorts of artwork and design projects. I'm always interested in capturing character, movement and emotion, through rich colour, pattern and a lively line. 

I gained a first class degree in Illustration and Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2002, before going on to study publishing. Having spent several years working in arts management, I returned to creating and making more recently, with a special focus on narrative illustration for children.


My first picture book as author and illustrator, 'Molly's Circus', was published by Little Door Books in 2020. I enjoy thinking about picture books as portable, tangible, interactive art experiences. In a similar way, I see my range of papergoods and folded mobiles as carrying emotion, memories and stories within them.

My first solo exhibition, PLAY, was held at Birnam Arts, March-April 2024.

I'm passionate about community arts and wholeheartedly believe in the delight that experiencing and making art brings to all our lives. I love running hands-on art workshops for children and families, where the emphasis is on exploring process and creating space to experiment and play.

I live in Kinross with my husband, three children, four chickens and a cat. I'm inspired by circuses, mid-century homeware, reading with children, faded printed ephemera and plenty of strong coffee.

Coming up in 2024... 

Sat 9th March - Sun 21st April | PLAY | Birnam Arts

A collection of work from artist-illustrator Esther Kent, exploring expressions of play and imagination. Inspired by personal childhood memories and the way in which children so easily blend reality and imaginary wonder, this exhibition brings together mixed media drawings on paper, digital printmaking and 3D paper sculpture to give colourful, energetic glimpses of how it feels to be playful.

Tues 19th March, 7-8pm | Artist's TalkBirnam Arts

Find out more about artist-illustrator Esther Kent’s creative journey and the ideas and process behind the PLAY exhibition as she’s joined by visual arts curator Helen Reid in a conversation about childhood memories, playing with materials and finding a visual voice.

Sat 6th April, 10am-12noon | Paper Play | All ages | Birnam Arts

Join Esther to explore colourful drawing materials and piles of paper! Make your own 3D paper decorations to take home or add to the PLAY exhibition for everyone to enjoy. A playful drop-in family workshop designed for children and adults to get stuck in to together.

Wed 11th April, 11am-12.30pm | Mythical Beasts Flip Flap Books Workshop | Age 8+ | Perth Art Gallery

Join illustrator Esther Kent to create colourful imaginary creatures and make your very own ‘flip flap’ mythical beasts mini book to take home. Family workshop for ages eight and over. Children will have a chance to work with a professional author to create their own mythical beast flip book.

Sat 13th April, 10am-12noon | Little Books | Age 6+ | Birnam Arts

Join Esther in the art studio to spend a morning making your very own little book. Esther will show you how to make a novelty flip-flap book or a tiny book folded from one sheet of paper, and then help you fill it with colourful characters and stories. Materials provided - just bring your imagination!

View my Scottish Book Trust author profile

Have a look at the 2022 community arts project I facilitated, Loch Leven Stories

Visit my 2020 lockdown blog

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