[Featured Illustrators] Cherise Ward

Cherise Ward's illustration project “Fruits and Fantasy: I Believe in Fairies” was born out of her love of storytelling and fantasy, and was inspired by an unpublished poem she wrote titled “Caribbean Fairies”. Her intent was to create original fairytales, based on the flora and fauna of the Caribbean, that had the feel of the classic European fairytales she enjoys.

Each illustration tells a story, but also invites the viewer to imagine a story of their own. Ward included portraits of friends, to create a relationship between the ‘real world’ and the fantasy world.

The story-illustration "Toad King" depicts the toad king, his subjects, and the golden apple tree, while "Passionfruit" depicts the hummingbird fairies in a passionfruit tree. All of the illustrations in this visual storytelling series were created using acrylic ink on watercolour paper.


Toad King


Cherise on what Caribbean children's illustration means to her:

Caribbean children’s illustration teaches children to love themselves by showing them what great stories they can tell, and what they can achieve. It is an opportunity to showcase the rich culture of the Caribbean, and the fact that we as artists, have no limits to what we can create. Our culture and our stories are relevant, and can make a difference in our children’s lives, both in the Caribbean and around the world.


Cherise Ward is an illustrator from Barbados. After studying Visual Arts at the Barbados Community College, she received her BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Her work is greatly inspired by nature, and her love of storytelling. Some of her freelance work includes doing book illustration, as well as making puppets. Her work has been in exhibitions in Barbados, as well as in New York City. Her most recent projects include local mural design, and illustrations for a children’s book written by Mario Picayo.

View more of Cherise's work here:

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About Anansesem

Anansesem is an online magazine of Caribbean children's and young adult literature by adults and children. We strive to bring you the best in news, reviews and creative content from the world of Caribbean children's publishing.
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  1. MargaretMay 31, 2013

    I love her work...the attention to detail and the soothing but rich colours. I see some similarity with Boodoo-Fortune's work,no!

  2. Carol SammyAugust 14, 2013

    This is some of the most breathtaking work I have ever seen. Such talent is awesome!

  3. very beautiful, I like your use of bright colors and how you worked the watercolor medium, and your work speaks of strong spirit.



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