Steve McCarthy

Steve Mccarthy is a Dublin based designer, illustrator, and bearded gentleman. His style is bold, colourful and inspired by humour and wit. Working with a mix of practical and digital techniques, Steve’s work feels most comfortable somewhere between the yellow submarine and Dumbo’s pink elephants. His first children’s book, Sally Go Round theStars, was nominated for the Bord Gais Irish Book Awards, and his second book, A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea (with Sarah Webb) won the prize in 2017 for children’s book of the year. Steve comes from working as a background designer, most notably for the animated feature film Song of the Sea, which was nominated for an academy award in 2015. He was also an Artist in Residence for Facebook in Dublin in 2018.

His debut picture book, titled The Wilderness (Walker Books), releases the 1st September 2022. When asked about his debut picture book he said ‘Autumn is my favourite season, and for my first picture book I wanted to create a legend that celebrated everything that’s magic about this special time of year. In Ireland in Autumn we celebrate Samhain ( Sown ) the time of year when the veil between our world and that of the spirits and the unknown is thinnest, when there is magic in the air, when the fantastic seems possible. I wanted to tell a story about the Wilderness come to life, a Wilderness that wanders from place to place and is only found by those who get lost. This is Oktober Vasylenkos’ story, but he has very little control over where this story will take him, he will have to face his greatest fears just to make it to the end of the book, for he lives in the Wilderness, where the Wilderness is, where the monster called the Wilderness lives, and there’s nothing he fears more, than getting lost, in the Wilderness’.

Steve plans to continue producing children’s picture books and use illustration in all manner of weird and wonderful projects. He says: “I see illustration as a form of language, one that can be understood by all shapes of people, the power of that is fascinating to me. I’m very interested in technology and tactile interaction and where those things intersect, more and more I see opportunities for my work to exist in out the world and interact with people in a more profound way.”

He has another book slated with Walker for 2023.

He lives and works in Dublin.