Short bio:

Will Terry has been a freelance illustrator for 23 years. He was horrible at math, English, and science...luckily he found art. After finishing his BFA project at BYU he began working for magazines and newspapers not far from where he grew up in Washington D.C. His early clients include publications such as Time, Money, Wall Street Journal and ads for Sprint, Pizza hut, M&M Mars, Fed Ex, and Master Card. He has illustrated about 30 children's books for Random House, Simon Schuster, Scholastic, Penguin, Klutz, and Albert Whitman. He has created several indie ebooks that have sold tens of thousands of copies and has started a story app series with Rick Walton beginning with Gary's Place. He also co-owns www.svslearn.com - online illustration classes for children's book illustrators selling in over 80 countries. 

The rest of the story... 

Now that we have to boring stuff out of the way - read on if you want to find out details like the fact that I’ve been hit by not one but two cars...I’m just not that easy to kill...or the fact that I can state all 44 prepositions in alphabetical order in 20 seconds from memory - a bet I had with my father when I was in 7th grade that I can’t seem to shake...or that my mom taught John Lithgow in the third grade and she used to tell us that he was “very quiet” and “not at all like an actor”...or how I saved our family of seven from drowning in the dismal swamp in North Carolina when I was 14 - true story. 

I used to pretend to read when I was in elementary school because I hated reading so much. I thought I was stupid because my older sister did very well in school while I earned horrible grades in math, english, and science. I used to think I would never amount to anything because my father and mother were both college educated and puzzled as to why I was struggling so much. Fast forward a few decades and lots of self esteem building illustration clients later I realized it was the system - not me. It’s criminal that our antiquated public school system sifts children for auditory learners while discarding kinesthetic and visual learners. From time to time I’ll include advice on my blog for parents with creative children and how to help them understand how valuable they are and how to nurture their creativity. 

I love to blog! I love to write for my blog! I hated writing when I was in school. Why do I like writing so much now? I think it’s because I didn’t have much to say until I found what I really cared about. If you want to see what I’m currently working on click on that little blog link up there! My blog is my release. I love to share my experiences, failures, progress, and advice to fellow illustrators and someday I plan to go through my blog and mine it for a book I plan to write but that’s way out there in the future. 

I love to vlog! I have a youtube channel too. I give advice and updates on my projects here too. I never knew I would enjoy making videos but I love the way technology has removed the barrier between artists and their audiences. I get about 100 emails/ day from people all over the world who read or listen to my advice and ask me questions. I love reading my emails and often I can’t respond to all of them, the comments on my youtube channel, blog, facebook, twitter, pinterest, tumblr, etc - but I enjoy reading all of them. I copy some of them into a word doc to make future youtube videos and blog posts. I keep this ongoing list and never run out of something to talk/write about. 

I love to teach. I teach both at UVU here in Utah and for www.svslearn.com an online school that Jake parker and I began in the Spring of 2013. We teach illustration classes for anyone aspiring to illustrate picture books, graphic novels, comics, story apps, etc. I find that teaching gives me just as much as I give. The more you teach the more you’re able to analyze your own work. Our classes are much shorter than a college semester and many of our students have already attended formal art school or university art programs and want more focused instruction that can fill some of the gaps. 

I love to illustrate. I’m fascinated watching children respond to pictures and stories. I love creating characters and bringing them to life through emotions and actions - costumes and environments. I got my first children’s book assignment back in 1997 - Pizza Pat for Random House and it sold over a half million copies - I was spoiled from the start! I began working in acrylic paint in the early 90’s and switched to working in Photoshop in 2010. I started with my first graphics tablet - a Wacom Intuos 3 connected to my PC. In 2013 I purchased my first cintiq monitor - best investment I’ve ever made. It allows me to work directly on the screen and the workflow is amazingly fast and accurate. The only downside to creating digital images - no original - ouch. 

I love to work on my own projects. Currently I’m working on the sequel to the story app “Gary’s Place” - “Gary’s Worms” and we have one planned after that as well. Award winning picture book author Rick Walton is writing them, I’m illustrating them and my son Aaron is developing them using Kwik - a photoshop plugin. The ability to concept with Rick and Aaron and publish these stories to app stores in a few weeks after completion is a dream come true. Story apps allow us to explore motion, sound, and choice in addition to story and pictures. 

I love my family. I have a wife and 3 boys. Two are adults and one is about to enter high school. We love to play board games on Sunday nights. Sometimes they let me win. We love to snowboard and backpack and go fishing from time to time. I go for a walk or hike every day. I guess the difference between the two is that one is done on a trail. I find peace and meditation in the highlands of the Utah Wasatch mountains. I never tire of their beauty. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than create art and wander the backcountry every day. Life is good. 

Guest Speaking:


BYU Idaho



Ringling College of Art & Design


SCBWI Missouri

SCBWI Chicago

SCBWI Atlanta

SCBWI Colorado Springs

SCBWI South Dakota

Rocky Mountain College of Design



Harcourt Brace

Holt Rinehart & Winston

Hooked on Phonics

Houghton Mifflin

McGraw Hill

Oxford University Press

Random House


Simon & Schuster

Leap Frog


Albert Whitman


National Geographic Kids



Arizona Highways


Better Homes & Gardens


Detroit Free Press

Disney Channel Mag

Family PC


Healthy Woman

Home Office Computing

Kiplinger Personal Finance

LA Times

Mac User

Mac World



National Geographic Kids

Post Graduate Medicine

psychology today



Wall Street Journal

Washington Post


Anderson Windows

Bell South

California Music Awards

Celebrity Cruise Lines

Cellular One


Fed Ex

General Life

Kimberly Clark

Master Card

M&M Mars

Northern Telecom

Oppenheimer Funds

Parker Brothers


Pizza Hut



San Diego Zoo

S.E. Johnson Wax


St Francis Hospital


Yankee Candle