In Our Notes…Illustrator Olya Badulina

Each time we bring a story to life as a picture book, we feel very blessed to work with some of the most talented artists in the world. These lovely women and men make our goal of having beautiful, colorful, and amazing illustrations attainable and they capture the reader’s imagination on each page of our stories. We love introducing you to these awesome illustrators, and even though we are in the midst of spring, we want to shine a light on our first picture book series The Bountiful Blessings series and the first title, God’s Blessings of Fall by Jean Matthew Hall. This series is being gorgeously illustrated by the truly talented Olya Badulina.

It’s my pleasure to share our behind-the-scenes interview with Olya, who is from Russia, and whose work is so detailed and beautifully colored. We were blessed to discover her and to find out she was available to take on our series. Olya brought us much joy, and from her first sketch to the final pages, she enveloped us into each scene with all the natural elements that made up God’s Blessings of Fall.  I’m thrilled to share with you more about her and her illustrations.


Tell us a little bit about you and your family. I am in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and I have a husband Sergey, who works as a programmer. We have two children: Ulyana, who is six and draws a lot and is engaged in acrobatics, and a son Vlad, who is 18 and a musician. In addition, we have a beautiful British cat Zeva. 

What is something unique you would you recommend to those visiting where you live? Petersburg is the most beautiful city in Russia, especially its central part, and I live there. Sometimes I get the feeling that I live in a museum complex. My children love the area where we live. Near the house are unique bridges, old houses, the majestic Issakievsky Cathedral and the Hermitage Museum.

When did you realize that you wanted to spend your life drawing? Since childhood, I like to draw characters, nature and plot illustrations.

How did you turn your passion into a career? I received a bachelor of arts with an emphasis in painting. After studying at the university, I worked for a very long time as an illustrator and designer in advertising. But as soon as the opportunity arose, I began to draw projects for children. My maternity leave helped me a lot to change my profession. Later, Instagram helped me in finding clients.

What are five objects we would find in your favorite workspace? In my workspace, there are watercolor paints (a lot of them), acrylic gouache, color pencils, brushes, water, and an easel.

What percentage of your illustration process relies on technology?  Probably a maximum of 20% of the time spent on the illustration as a whole relies on technology. I like to work with traditional materials. And also I like to finish illustrations on a graphic tablet.

What does a typical day look like for you? I really like to get up early. Usually I start with sketches for myself – just to paint. And then I give orders. Usually I work from 8 to 17. Sometimes I work on weekends.

What did you enjoy about illustrating God’s Blessings of Fall, the first book in our Bountiful Blessings series? I was delighted with the idea of illustrating nature from morning to night.

What advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator? Practice and study a lot the basics of drawing. Study, as an example, the great illustrators and and don’t be discouraged!

Crayons or Color Pencils? Why? Colored Pencils – A huge variety of palettes and my favorite texture.

What makes you happiest or brings you the most joy about what you do? The most exciting thing is to see how a couple of ideas are born into a book or through an illustration.


Thank you Olya for sharing your talent with us and for doing such a beautiful job on God’s Blessings of Fall! You can view more about Olya and her illustrations via The Lemonade Agency and on her website. God’s Blessings of Fall written by author Jean Matthew Hall is available now in our online store as well as online with Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more independent bookstores. Order a copy today for the young reader in your life to remind them of all the wonderful things God has created each season.