Kim Sponaugle

child jumping into mom's arms

child jumping into mom's arms

child jumping into mom's arms
toddler with westie and mini marshmallows
Frog Princess - Magnolia
Take me out to the ball park

I think there are several ingredients necessary to create a children's book illustration that can touch the heart, teach, and communicate what the author wants to express.

The best illustrations are those that get a hold of my heart and imagination. A good use of color, design and and well-rendered characters are part of the recipe for a great book. But not just that, it needs life in the illustrations - expression, whimsy and delightful surprises.

My picture book illustration is bright, colorful, and full of expression!

I used to work as a cartoon portrait artist and have rendered hundreds of children's faces - I think this has strengthened my ability to show children's expressions in my work.

I enjoy using color to set mood in my books. I work in watercolor, pastels and pen and ink mediums.

I enjoy working with self-publishing authors and would be happy to talk with you about your project!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have regarding illustration, a sample character sketch or price estimates.

References are available upon request, or read what some of my happy customers have to say below!

Learn more about Kim and see more of her work at Picture Kitchen Studio.

Artists, new to the business? Kim wrote an article specifically for new illustrators.

Comments for Kim Sponaugle

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Jul 21, 2017
Timmy The Tornado Feelin' The Pressure
by: Ellen Thomas

Kim Sponaugle brought my story and my characters to life. Her attention to detail is a reflection of her love for her craft. This was my first attempt at fiction and a children's book. Kim's instructions and contract were clear and easy to follow. She spent time over emails and a phone conversation to answer all of my questions and ease my fears. Her ability to listen and tweak her initial sketches is comforting to an author. I will use Kim as an illustrator for all future children's books.

Feb 01, 2017
I wouldn't hesitate working with her again
by: Richard Swan Dahlberg

It's been a great pleasure to work with Kim on my second children's book. The illustrations brought my story to life. She is so easy to work with. She has great ideas, and is open to suggestions. If you don't think a particular illustration is quite right, she is easy to talk to about it, and comes up with something even better! If I do a third book I wouldn't hesitate working with her again. If you are looking for an illustrator, start with Kim.
-Richard Swan Dahlberg

Sep 27, 2016
Magnificent Matt
by: Debra Lenser

Kim has been wonderful to work with. I feel so blessed that she agreed to illustrate my books. Kim is an exceptional artist who has the ability to add that little extra something to her art that makes her pictures so amazing.

Kim made me feel comfortable from day one. This was my first endeavor at writing books. I wasn't sure what to expect and how the process would go. Kim was always quick to respond to my questions and always made me feel comfortable and secure in my decisions. I appreciate her talent and work ethnic beyond words.

How wonderful it is when you see your story come to life in pictures! Looking forward to having an opportunity to work with Kim again.

Thanks Kim!

Jun 05, 2015
A wonderful Experience
by: Laura Brigger

I have been so lucky to work with Kim on one book and now starting a second. ( hopefully more) She has been available to me and so helpful from the start. I gave her my ideas, we worked together and she created an amazing characters for my story . I still wonder how she was able to come up with exactly what I had in mind! It's actually refreshing to work with some one who has the ability to take your ideas and create what you envision. Her extreme talent gives so much creative freedom. Ok, do I think she's super woman in this illustration market? Yes, I do!!

Mar 06, 2015
Ping and Po-Li
by: Audrey Moore

I contacted Kim less than a year ago about illustrating my book. The book needed to be edited, I had no publishibg home and I had no experience whatsoever. Not only did Kim agree to illustrate my book, but also got me in touch with an editor and suggested publishing companies which worked out so well. I was so thrilled at how Kim managed to create the characters, better than I could of hoped for. As a first time author the whole experience should of been daunting but kim made it the most amazing and enjoyable experience. I can't wait to work with Kim again, what a super kind and talented lady.

Jan 06, 2015
Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon
by: Terry John Barto

Kim and I are about to release Nickerbacher, The Funniest Dragon. The illustrations are incredible. It's such a joy to see my story brought to life in such a beautiful way. It's hard to explain how perfectly right it is yet it's better then I had ever imagined.

Kim is above and beyond in every way. She is extremely knowledgable about the process of putting together a children's picture book. All throughout, Kim has been professional and right on schedule. She has continued helping during the layout process.

Anyone who is lucky enough to get her will be more than pleased. I highly recommend Kim Sponaugle.

Jul 13, 2014
Take the time to find the right fit - It works!
by: Kevin Fobbs

For those who have had bad encounters and experiences in working with self-publishing companies, I can honestly say that doing your homework and making certain you have found the right fit, a publisher that understands your goals and ambitions for your book, will pay dividends. It was a perfect fit for Lisa Umina, the publisher, and myself.

I took the same approach with selecting an illustrator who was more than great in illustrating, but also who had a heart and a warmth for creating that was reflected in her own life. That was why Kimberly Margaret Sponaugle was the perfect fit.

We interviewed each other and it resulted in an excellent partnership and children's book: "Is There a Lion in My Kitchen?"

I know if you take the time in selecting your publisher and illustrator you will never regret it!

Jul 05, 2014
WHO IS JESUS? by MaryAnn Diorio
by: MaryAnn Diorio

Kim Sponaugle recently illustrated my forthcoming children's picture book entitled WHO IS JESUS! I have long admired Kim's work ever since she illustrated the Beatrice books for my friend Pam Halter.

I knew that if I ever wrote a picture book, I would want Kim to illustrate it.

Well, I did write a picture book and Kim did illustrate it. And I am so very pleased and delighted!

It has been a great joy and a blessing to work with Kim. She is a true artist at heart, sensitive to Holy Spirit's leading. She considered my input as the author yet remained faithful to her artistic vision.

She is a consummate professional and a very talented artist whose love for God is evident in her work. If you are looking for a superb illustrator for your children's book, look no farther than Kim Sponaugle. You will not be disappointed.

Apr 12, 2014
Outstanding illustrator!!
by: Anita Turnage

If you are in search of a fabulous illustrator who will bring your characters to life, animate all critters and fascinate the children.....Kim Sponaugle is your illustrator!! She is a joy to work with and uses her imagination to add playful details to delight children. I cannot wait until my second story is perfected and ready for her to work her magic again!!

Nov 07, 2013
by: Evelyn Gresham

Kim Sponaugle is a wonderful person to work with. She is very patient with people. I have worked with others and they do not match her professionalism and love for what she does. I have other books and she will be the person I will be working with. If you want an illustrator for your book look no further. I love, love love my illustrations! Thank you so much Kim for all you do and for your professionalism!!

Many blessings to you,


Mar 25, 2013
l love ya, Kim.
by: Debbie Estrem

I am a first time self publishing author. My first book “Have You Ever Seen A Firefly?” was illustrated by Kim Sponaugle. She has been very professional, very helpful, and very supportive. She managed to create characters and scenery that were exact in telling the story and drawing in the reader. I feel she easily understood the picture and story that I hoped to tell, and I feel she is a total Godsend to me. I love her; I love her work and am very pleased she has agreed to illustrate my upcoming second book. I would highly recommend her to all authors in need of an illustrator.

Mar 01, 2013
A certain magic
by: Alarna Rose Gray

I found Kim after an extensive online search for an illustrator who could render black and white pencil sketches in a classic, whimsical style for my eBook series, Hello Pepi.

She has been incredibly gracious in working with me as a first time indie publisher. Not only has she collaborated across time zones (I am in Australia), but she has willingly worked to enhance my vision from initial storyboard concepts.

There is a certain magical quality that she brings to her work – emotional nuances, energy and verve - that bring characters and settings to life. Her cover art is particularly inspired, communicating the essence of the story in a seemingly effortless way.

It’s been a joy and a privilege to work with such a talented illustrator and to see the project brought to life.

Feb 26, 2013
Top Shelf
by: Dixie Phillips

I am a huge fan of Kim Sponaugle. She has illustrated three of my children's books, and I couldn't be more pleased.

When my Christian children's Easter, Christmas, and Thanksgiving musicals were accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing, I knew Kim Sponaugle was the woman for the job of designing the cover art. I highly recommend her work.

If you are in need of an illustrator, get ahold of Kim. You will not be disappointed.

Feb 06, 2013
Beautiful work!
by: Donna McFarland

Kim Sponaugle has illustrated two of my books and I could not possibly be happier with the quality of her work. The characters in my most recent book (Duck and Friends: The Dinosaur Bones) were based on well-defined "pretend friends" made up by my 7-year-old son. Kim interviewed me to learn about the characters and then she captured them perfectly with her illustrations. She filled her interior pencil sketches with creativity and imagination, but the biggest star was the cover. Her cover illustration is absolutely stunning, and it is selling my book. I highly recommend Kim Sponaugle.

Jan 04, 2012
The Adventure With Kim Sponaugle
by: Janice Austin Bates

While writing my book, The Adventures of Little Chrisamee, I started looking for an illustrator, which I am sure most of you know, is a very frustrating experience. I finally realized that I had not prayed about it, so I stopped and prayed. In less than one week I had found Picture Kitchen Studio. I know Kim was an answer to prayer, because working with Kim has been an absolute joy. She has gone the extra mile time and time again to portray the characters in my book as I have imagined them. It has almost been like she was in my head and could see my thoughts.

I have actually made changes to my story and added a character because of things Kim has put into the illustrations. I have to say that she has not only brought my story to life, but has truly helped me make the story better.

Kim also introduced me to an excellent editor and a wonderful publisher. I feel like working with Kim is truly being part of a team. She has helped me in more ways than I could ever explain. I am planning to publish several more books, and I would not even consider any other illustrator.

Thank you Kim for everything you have done.

Oct 16, 2011
On a Journey to Mirth
by: Linda Kandelin Chambers

Upon receiving the finished illustrations from Kim for a new novel I have written for little girls, I was overwhelmed by her expertise in capturing whimsy and sparkle in black and white! She has a unique ability to visualize an author's words and put them to paper. I knew her work in color was outstanding but had no idea she could work the same magic for black and white ink. Movement, line, shadow, space, and MIRTH are all there! Thank you Kim for sharing your God-given talent with me.

Appreciatively, Linda Chambers

Jun 04, 2011
Book illustrations for my book
by: Patty Wiese

Kim has finished my illustrations for my book. It's been a wonderful ride.

Kim aims to please. She's caring and easy to work with, to say the least. I look forward to working with her again. I can't think of anyone I'd rather work with than Kim.

I've told her several times that I don't think I could have found anyone to do a better job! Kim has been a gift from God. Knowing in my mind what I wanted my illustrations to look like was frustrating for me, not being able to draw myself. Kim made it possible to illustrate what I was thinking. She not only drew what I wanted, but - when I was stumbling with an idea for an illustration - there she was with a great idea. She made it so easy for me to work with her. Putting our ideas together was so much fun.

Kim is great at making you feel at home with her. She's not only super talented, but she's equally caring and puts a lot of love into her work.

In my opinion, Kim is priceless.

Thank you, Kim, from the bottom of my heart.

You're a great person!

Patty Wiese

Feb 25, 2011
Kim's Krazy Kitchen!
by: Maryann Welker

I've never been to Kim's house, but I can just imagine that a visit to her picture kitchen studio must be like walking into a magical place full of lots of kids, lots of activity, lots of color, lots of animals, lots of illustrations, and lots of fun! Because that's what I envisioned with every email and phone call I had with Kim during the months she was illustrating my book, "Did God Run out of Tails?" So I found myself a little sad when the book was done...but thank goodness, our relationship continues. She is always there for me when I have questions, concerns, or need advice.

I can't say enough wonderful things about working with her; and at some point, I'm going to make a surprise visit and see what really goes on in Kim's Krazy Kitchen!

Feb 04, 2011
I'm almost speechless!
by: Patty Wiese

It takes a lot to render me almost speechless!

Kim has done that to me! I usually can find the words to express how I feel. Kim makes it more difficult (in a very good way) to say how I feel about her wonderful illustrations. I stutter with
amazement trying to express how creative she is. Working with her is a Godsend. I could not ask for a nicer and better person to hire than Kim.

I am grateful in every way for every stage in the process - from meeting Kim, to working with her and watching her make my character come so alive. This is because of how well Kim can focus and work with others, putting not only her imagination on paper, but also mine. She can take my ideas and make them better, and if I stumble with not knowing what I want for an illustration, she comes up with the most clever ideas.

Kim motivates my own imagination. She's great at blending well with people! It's hard to find someone like Kim; she can do it all! She not only can create what you want but also be a very focused businesswoman!

When working with Kim, she has made me feel more confident, relaxed and eager to make my book the best it can be.

Thank you, Kim! You're a pleasure to work with.

I guess it wasn't so hard after all to put my feelings in words about Kim! I just say it like I see it.

Best to you, Patty Wiese

Dec 09, 2010
Interested in contacting you
by: Patty Wiese

Dear Kim Sponaugle,

I'm searching for an illustrator for my Children's picture book. I really enjoyed your website.

I tried to hit the "Contact Kim" button, but for some reason my computer wouldn't allow me to open it.

I'm not sure what the problem is, so I thought I would try to connect with you this way.

My email address is -

If you're interested in knowing more, please give me an email jingle. I want my book project to be a stress-free, enjoyable job for whoever works with me - as much as possible anyway! Life is too short for anything less than that.

Sincerely, Patty Wiese
Portland, Oregon

May 15, 2010
Great Job!
by: Pamela

Kim... is a brilliant illustrator!!! She's done a wonderful job capturing my thoughts for my book "Life Sure Feels Different Living in a Separate House From My Brother." She is very talented and such an easy person to work with. If you need someone to illustrate your story right - without a whole lot of hassle - Kim Sponaugle would be the one. You go, girl!!!

Feb 10, 2010
Talented Illustrator!!
by: Anonymous

If you are looking for someone to get into your head and create the illustration you are dreaming about...Kim is the BEST!! She produced illustrations for me that were exactly what I was hoping for...and MORE!! In fact, Kim took extra time to create a 3rd sketch that I didn't know I needed until I saw it!! :)

And the best part was she did all this in less than 2 weeks! One week for the sketch and a second for the final. Absolutely AMAZING!

Thnak you Kim for bringing my idea to life!

Mar 19, 2009
A real gem
by: Donna McFarland

I looked for over a year for just the right illustrator for my first book, "The Purple Elephant" (to be released in May). When I saw one of Kim's illustrations, I knew I'd found the person who could bring my characters to life. Kim's illustrations speak for themselves, but I couldn't have been happier with how she caught the vision for my characters. Kim was a real pleasure to work with and she even helped me decide how to format my book and led me to a fine editor. I'm looking forward to using her again. She's a real gem.

Jan 09, 2009
I highly recommend Kim
by: Dixie Phillips

Kim Sponaugle's creative juices never cease to flow. Others may be stuck in an artisic rut -- not Kim. She draws with her heart, and her illustrations are sheer inspiration! Without fail... when people pick up books Kim has illustrated they oooohhhh and aaaahhhh over her delightful illustrations.

Talent can get you to the top, but character keeps you there. Kim has the talent, but she also is a woman of integrity. She is a joy to work with, a woman who keeps her word. She burns the midnight oil to meet deadlines.

Kim has illustrated all three of my children's books. Her star is rising, and I believe she is sketching her way into the hearts of boys and girls all over the world.

I highly recommend Kim Sponaugle and plan to have her illustrate another one of my books in the near future.

Jan 09, 2009
Experience of my life
by: Rhonda Fischer

I have had the experience of my life working with Kim. We were brought together by fate. I interviewed many illustrators, and none could capture what I envisioned my character Randy Kazandy to look like.

On Kim's first illustration she sent me, she hit Randy right on the nose. He was perfect! I knew she was the gifted artist to do the job. I could feel it right through the vivid colors of her drawing as if the character had come to life and was talking to me right through the computer. To find that in an illustator is a true gift. It has been a pleasure, a fun learning experience that not even the best college could of taught me.

Inspiring and full of ideas, we both had love for our character, Randy Kazandy. Every expression and detail depicts the courageous young boy I wrote. Kim's style has been noticed by many when they view my book. The illustrations are fascinating, simply brilliant! She has a beautiful flow in her work and captures the key moments for each character.

Her flair at drawing babies is especially outstanding. Kim had me take pictures of every room in my house to get ideas to paint for the background in the book. We laughed while working together, and we not only had passion for our project, we were becoming good friends.

I have loved the working moments together and will continue working on the Randy Kazandy series in hopes that it never ends.

Kim is a dedicated gal who meets deadlines -beats them in my case. She is a dream come true in this business.

Kim's talents await you. She draws with much love.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. As Randy Kazandy would say, "A friend, is a friend is a friend...Yahoo!!!!"

Jan 07, 2009
Kim's a "Keeper"
by: Candy Abbott

Fruitbearer Publishing contracted with Kim for the first time to do the illustrations for Dalen Key's book, "Just a Quilt?" What a great experience!

Not only was Kim able to capture the author's vision for each page and bring the story to life, but her work was professional in every way, meeting or exceeding anticipated deadlines. We'll be back!

Candy Abbott
Managing Partner
Fruitbearer Publishing, LLC
P.O. Box 777
Georgetown, DE 19947
(302) 856-6649

Jan 06, 2009
Tales of Henry
by: Lily Westwater

Thank you, Kim, for capturing the essence of the photos that served as the foundation of your illustrations in Tales of Henry. You knew from our conversations how vital it was to me and the story to draw the reader in, illuminating the timeless appeal that is seen in a puppy's yearning eyes. Yearning for what? Yearning for someone to love and to be loved by in return, someone to look for in every room, someone to watch for as they return home, someone to grow with, someone who will become a better person for having opened their heart and home to one of God's special creatures.

Henry will now be special in a timeless way through your work, and I will always be thankful for that!

Jan 04, 2009
You did a brilliant job
by: Anonymous

Kim, you did a brilliant job, capturing the essence of Randy Kazandy. You gave him a face and a form that match his personality, right down to the red hair and bandages. Randy Kazandy is a mischievous, cute kid who everyone will love. AND working with you on the book was a pleasure!

Sun Editing & Book Design

Jan 01, 2009
Collaboration on "Just a Quilt?"
by: Dalen Keys

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Kim! Her grasp of the story line and her vibrant artwork brought "Just a Quilt?" to life.

Entering the project on "Just a Quilt?", I believed that it was critical to have wonderful artwork. Children and parents expect to be drawn into the story by the words and the art. It was critical to select an artist who could meet my high expectations.

When I first saw her sketches, I knew I had made the right selection. Although we have never met face-to-face, I feel that I have known Kim for years.

Just to add some details: she communicates well and promptly, she welcomes input from the author, and her turn-around time was fantastic. I would be glad to work with her again.

Dec 31, 2008
Kim is wonderful to work with!
by: Scott Spoonmore

After I finished my first children's book, I searched for a few months to find an illustrator. Luckily I was refered to Kim.

Kim has more than met my expectations; her work is so vivid and colorful that it just pops off the page. She has done an excellent job of bringing my characters to life.

Her attention to detail really impressed me. When my next book is finished, Kim will be my first and only call to an illustrator. If she isn't available immediatly, I'll wait.

Scott Spoonmore
Seymour the Semi-Snow Days

Dec 31, 2008
Kim is the greatest!
by: Anonymous

I interviewed many, many professional illustrators in search of the perfect fit for my first children's book. When I came across Kim, I knew my search was over! She was very easy to communicate with and worked hard to meet my expectations. I have gotten so many compliments on the illustrations, and the book hasn't even been released yet! I'd definitely use Kim again! She is wonderful!

-Michael Yoist
"A Smile for the King"

Mar 03, 2008
Kim is wonderful to work with!
by: VS Grenier

I've been working with Kim for a little over a year now. She's been wonderful to work with. Her artwork has really added to the Stories for Children Magazine family of illustrators. She's always on time with deadlines and is open to suggestions or revisions.

Kim is one of most professional illustrators I've worked with.

We're glad Kim is a part of the SFC contributors.

Mar 03, 2008
Kim and Curley and Q and Me, too!
by: Marcia Trimble

I didn't even have a project when I first met Kim, but seeing Kim's portfolio motivated me to create a project especially for her. And luckily she said, "Yes."

Kim patiently helped me evolve this beautiful keepsake album - "Curley and Q, and Me, Too!" - with the whimsy of her pencils and pastels.

I am in awe of her talent and her untiring energy.
Kim is a gem to work with.

Email me at

Mar 02, 2008
Kim Breathes Life into Books
by: Colleen Buckley

Kim illustrated my book, Grandma Kathy Has Cancer, but she did so much more than the illustrations. I was incredulous when I saw her first round of pencil sketches, because she captured my sister and her granddaughter as if she had known them for a long time. She made my book come alive. She gave me encouragement, guidance, and was always a positive influence throughout the process. She truly did breathe life into the book.

Anyone who may be thinking of using Kim to do illustrations should feel free to contact me so that I can tell you how great she is to work with.
Email me at

Mar 02, 2008
Match Made in Heaven
by: Dixie Phillips

Kim Sponaugle has brought "Angel Eyes" and Stubby's Destiny to life with her amazing illustrations. I knew the first time I saw some of her work that if I ever wrote a children's book, I wanted Kim to be the illustrator. My dream came true, and it has been a match made in Heaven.

I would highly recommend Kim Sponaugle to anyone who is serious about creating illustrations that leave "footprints" in the hearts of little ones.

I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding my experience with Kim. You may contact me at

Feb 29, 2008
She illustrated my children's book
by: Elisabeth Matulewicz

Kim did an amazing job illustrating my children's book, "Benny & Marshmallow - A Day of Mischief." She is insightful and talented. I especially like the expressions of the animals. I also enjoyed her use of purple - I was pleasantly pleased. The book will be released shortly, and I look forward to having her illustrate my next one!

Feb 29, 2008
Kim is a Fabulous Illustrator
by: Susan Berger

Kim illustrated "Jamie's Dream," which I co-authored with my son, Christopher. The day I received her illustrations was one of the highlights of my life. She had so perfectly captured the mood and spirit of the book.

She illustrated a book called "Grandma Kathy Has Cancer." I loved the illustrations for that book. They were joyous and perfect. If you are lucky enough to work with Kim, you will have a wonderful experience.

Feb 29, 2008
A wonderful artist to work with
by: Pam Halter

I am a children's author and have worked with Kim Sponaugle for years. She illustrated two of my picture books, Beatrice Loses Her Doll AND Beatrice's New Clothes (Concordia Publishing). (They are now out of print, but still available on Amazon.)

Kim has a gift to be able to capture the essence of a story and enhance it with her illustrations. She is fun to work with, easy to talk to and willing to help brainstorm every part of the artwork.

We continue to develop ideas together and are hoping to have the opportunity to publish as a team again.

If you would like a reference, or would like to ask me any further questions, please feel free to contact me.

Feb 29, 2008
I use Kim and I'm an artist!
by: Kevin Scott Collier

I have illustrated over 70 books, but when it came to a book I wrote, I asked Kim to illustrate the cover.

She's completed two chapter book covers for me. I mean, I like my own art, but Kim has a style I simply must have for the face of my chapter books. I intend to hire her for many more.

- Kevin Scott Collier
Author and illustrator

Feb 29, 2008
Editor, Kitty Cat Books, Div. Dragonfly Pub.
by: Pat Gaines

I have been working with Kim for the last several months while she was creating the illustrations for our latest children's book edition, An Angel's First Job. She has been on time in completing the work, and her art is fantastic. I have found her to be dedicated to her art and her Christian principles, and it has been a joy for me to work with her and to get to know her.

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