Melissa Washburn is an artist/illustrator/graphic designer based just outside Chicago in Northwest Indiana. She grew up in upstate New York, but has lived in the Midwest since 1996. She creates layered, expressive mixed-media illustrations, often inspired by the natural world.

Melissa holds a BFA in painting and printmaking from Binghamton University (SUNY) and an MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University Bloomington, and has completed several Illustration classes through the Continuing Education program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a 2012-2013 recipient of an Individual Artist Program grant from the Indiana Arts Commission. She worked as Art Director for Group 7even in Valparaiso, IN for two years, serves on the board of the Valparaiso Creative Council, and is one of the founders of CSA Valpo, a unique co-op buying program for local art and artists. In 2019 she earned her Indiana Master Naturalist certification through Gabis Arboretum and the Indiana DNR.

For inquiries about commissioning or licensing illustration work, please contact me. In Northwest Indiana, you can find my art and products at Society Collection in Valparaiso, Green Door Books in Hobart, and in the Chesterton Art Center and Lubeznik Center for the Arts gift shops.

Partial Client List


American Greyhound
American Osteopathic Foundation
The Caring Place
Harper & Harper
JBH Productions
Porter County Parks and Recreation
Porter County Public Library System
Sojourner Truth House


Amber Lotus Greetings
Card Isle Greetings
Edible Indy
Edible Michiana
Edible Reno-Tahoe
Engangered Species Print Project
HERE Magazine
Hudson Valley Seed Library
Indiana Dunes National Park
Keweenaw Coffee Works
Knitstrips/Modern Daily Knitting
Native Roots Farm
Noble Works Greetings
Porter County Recycling
Quarto Group Publishing
Smithsonian Magazine
Society Collection
Spirituality & Health Magazine
Workman Publishing


Draw Like an Artist: 100 Birds, Butterflies, and Other Insects, 2020, Quarry Books

Draw Like an Artist: 100 Realistic Animals, 2019, Quarry Books

Draw Like an Artist: 100 Flowers and Plants, 2019, Quarry Books

Get Spicy! 30 HOT Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World by They Draw and Cook

Slithers and Scales of Inspiration and Feathers of Inspiration: The Bird Art Project by Out of Step Books


Mural at Miller Woods’ Douglas Center Celebrates “Native Prairie”, NWI Times November 2018
Eye on the Arts, Lakeshore PBS, February 2018
CRUSH Illustration Collective, ICON the Illustration Conference Blog, January 2018
Interview with Endangered Species Print Project, May 2016

Melissa Washburn headshot