Joe Cepeda

Preferring grace over style, insight and message over technique, and story over extravagance, Joe seeks to create work with integrity and authenticity at its core.
Born and raised in East Los Angeles, a proud Angeleno, Joe’s serpentine road through college began studying engineering at Cornell and finished with a BFA in Illustration from Long Beach State. Only months from leaving school, Joe took his wares to New York and secured a book contract after his first meeting with a publisher. He’s been illustrating books ever since. Joe is the award-winning illustrator of more than thirty books for children while continuing to create images for magazines and other publications, as well as keeping an eager eye to the ever-changing landscape of illustration. Joe is the recipient of a Theodore Geisel Honor award for his book, I HOP.

A presenter to schools and conferences, Joe relishes every new opportunity to share his experience and advocate for his craft.

Joe is the president of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles (SILA).

Visiting Our Campus

Our campus (The Barn at Boyds Mills) is tucked away in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.  It's a few hours from both New York City and Philadelphia, but worlds away from everyday life.

Line drawing of the Barn at Boyds Mills

Our Mission in Action

Scholarships
Equity & Inclusion in Kidlit
Sustainability

The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.

For Businesses & Organizations

Fund a Scholarship
Partner with Us