When Lael entered college, he planned on becoming a graphic designer. After several design assignments were finished using his own illustrations and very little type, his teachers suggested he transfer to the illustration department. Lael thinks this was some of the best advice he was ever given.

Lael graduated with a BFA in illustration in 1993. After graduation, he got a job working as an in-house illustrator for a publishing company doing book cover illustrations. In a few years, and after finishing more than 100 book covers, Lael left the small publisher and started freelancing full time.

Lael has illustrated for Abcomm, AG Edwards, Boston Business Journal, Computer Shopper Magazine, Consumer's Report, Dow Jones, Kemper Funds, New York Law Journal, The Wall Street Journal and Welchol to name just a few. Lael loves working with art directors, and says there is nothing better than a new illustration assignment.


  • A.G. Edwards
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • ABcomm, Inc.
  • Boston Business Journal
  • Cannon Communications
  • Computer Shopper Magazine
  • Consumer Reports Magazine
  • Dow Jones
  • Golf World Magazine
  • Kemper Funds
  • LACMA Physician
  • New York Law Journal
  • University of Phoenix
  • Welchol

Q & A

What do you regard as the highest point of creative fulfillment?
I have to admit, I really love getting a call or email from an art director after I have delivered a final piece of artwork. When they call and let me know that everyone liked what I created — that can be such a great feeling.

What was your most creative assignment?
When I first started freelancing, I got the chance to illustrate a brochure for Kemper Funds. It was a large job for me at the time. I was working with a very talented designer and she let me sketch whatever I thought would work as I read through the manuscript. Then she designed around my pencil sketches and used almost all of my drawings.

What is your favorite music to listen to while working?
I’m kind of old school when it comes to music. I like classic rock, and a lot of the music from my high school era (which was the ’80s).

What is your favorite time period?
I guess if we are talking illustration I’d have to say 1910-1930. ?I like almost all the illustrators of that time period.

If you had to live in a world with just one color, what would it be?
I think I’d get tired of a world with just one color … very quickly!

There is a fire. You can only save one item. What would that item be?
I did a drawing of my wife soon after we married. I was working late on a school assignment and she fell asleep on the couch. I drew a pencil sketch of her as she slept. It was just luck that I used some good art paper, because it turned out pretty well. I’d grab that one picture for sure.