About the Artist
Valerie Sokolova holds a BA in Graphic Arts and Illustration and MFA in Applied and Decorative Arts. She serves as an Associate Professor and the Art Department Academic Liaison of the Kingsborough Community College (KCC) Honors Program. She teaches design, typography, illustration and writing intensive courses. As the Art Department advisor to the KCC Art Club, she also regularly brings illustrators, designers and other artists to speak to the student community about career options in the arts available to them upon graduation. Prior to teaching at KCC, Valerie taught at Queensborough Community College and York College.
1983 –1987 State Institute of Theatre and Art, MFA in Applied and Decorative Arts Minsk, Belarus
1981 – 1983 Ukrainian Polygraphic Institute, B.A. in Graphic Arts and Illustration, Lviv, Ukraine
As a visual artist, I focus primarily on illustrating classic and contemporary fairy tales for children by depicting objects and scenes with a high level of detail. I think of creating illustrations as opening windows to the miraculous world of fairy and folk tales for young readers. For my illustrations, I’ve developed my own unique mix of watercolor and gouache paints with inks and airbrushing, and some egg tempera.
Since my family originates from Ukraine, I have made it my life’s mission to understand the origins of my culture, which branches to other Slavic European cultures as well. My professional research interests include Ukrainian art, culture, and identity in the face of globalization.
I’ve published 30+ illustrated picture books in the U.S. and abroad. My works have received national and international awards, including the International Best Illustration Award “The Golden Rose” (Ukraine, 2020), the 49thGolden Pen of Belgrade International Biennale of Illustration “The Golden Pen of Belgrade” (First Place) award for the best children’s book (Serbia, 2017), the Best Book Award at the Publishers’ Forum XXIII, a nation-wide award (Ukraine, 2016), The Golden Feather Award for Best Children's Illustrator of the Year (Ukraine, 2013), the Creative Child Book of the Year Gold Award (USA, 2012) and the Mom's Choice Gold Award in the Children's Picture Book category (USA, 2012).
Courses at Kingsborough
Design 1 (Art 55)
Illustration (Art 68)
Illustration Style (Art 69)
Experimental Typography (Art 74)
Designing with Type (Art 40)
The Little Princess and the Pussy Cat, spread book cover
The Little Princess and the Pussy Cat: The Fairy in the Bedroom
The Little Princess and the Pussy Cat, Scene in the Garden
I + See + Me + 2 + Girls + 72
Bella Basset Ballerina: Dinner Scene
Bella Basset Ballerina: In the City