Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

2017 Conference Faculty: Giuseppe Castellano

Meet the faculty of the 2017 Austin SCBWI Writers & Illustrators Working Conference. We’ve asked all our faculty members to answer 4 quick questions so we can get to know them better.

Giuseppe Castellano, Executive Art Director, Penguin Random House

Giuseppe Castellano is an Executive Art Director at Penguin Random House; overseeing the art and design for seven imprints including Penguin Workshop, Mad Libs, Frederick Warne and Co., Penguin Young Readers, Cartoon Network Books, and Penguin Young Readers Licenses.
He is also the founder of The Illustration Department—an online school for illustrators. Learn more about the practice and business of illustration by visiting Giuseppe’s popular #arttips blog at Follow his #arttips on Twitter at @pinocastellano. And check out his school at

Giuseppe Castellano
Giuseppe Castellano

What attracted you to children’s books?

Frankly, a job. I was offered a design assistant position at Simon and Schuster right before I graduated from RISD. At the time, it was a creative way for me to pay bills as I pursued illustration. I learned to love it along the way.

What’s the best part of your job?

There are too many to hone down. Many of our books end up in the hands of reluctant or challenged readers. I always enjoy hearing how our books helped them jump that first, biggest, hurdle of reading—transforming them into happy readers.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Though there many challenges, big and small, in publishing, our goal is always to make the best possible books that educate, entertain, and inspire.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given that helped drive your career?

My sculpture teacher from Freshman year at RISD, Ken Horii: “Integrate. Do not decorate.”
I use it for almost everything in my life—literally and figuratively.

Come see Giuseppe at the 2017 Austin SCBWI conference, May 20-21, 2017