Dave Szalay is an author/illustrator who lives with his wife, Krista and their cats in the Village of Richfield near the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A lifelong children’s book enthusiast, Dave is somewhat of an illustration and animation historian. He and Krista enjoy collecting vintage kid’s books including several first editions acquired from a trip to London. The forests and wildlife that surround their home serve as major inspiration, as do travel destinations that include adventurous landscapes and environments. Dave enjoyed his share of reading to sons Alex and Matt as they were growing up, which certainly adds insight to the artist-writer equation. It was fun to revisit the classics as well as discover new material over the years. "When we exhausted the bookshelves, I’d make up my own tales for the boys," Dave adds.
He is also an award winning designer of visual communications with a career spanning three decades. His past clients have included notable global corporations, institutions, healthcare providers, museums, technology companies, and many others. Throughout his career, illustration has always been a passion and in recent years, it has become his primary focus. He has an MFA in illustration and teaches at The Myers School of Art at The University of Akron where he is a tenured Professor.
As an illustrator, Dave’s work can be found in national editorial, advertising, and communications media. His illustration work has been recognized and awarded in several advertising and illustration competitions, including one of the SCBWI National Portfolio Showcase Honor Awards in 2018. He enjoys working in ink, watercolor, and colored pencil, but more often renders his whimsical images in a vintage picture book-inspired technique using digital drawing and painting methods.