OCAD University
Kathryn Adams
Faculty of Design

Area(s) of Expertise

Illustration, Business


Kathryn Adams is an award-winning illustrator who began her freelance career in 1987. She has been teaching Business Practices for Illustrators at OCAD since 2005. She also teaches Guerrilla Entrepreneurism and has taught Second Year Illustration. Kathryn has been teaching Business Practices and Illustration at Sheridan College since 2001. As well as teaching, Kathryn maintains her freelance illustration business working for a wide variety of international clients.


1980-83     Ontario College of Art

1983-85     Sheridan College: Diploma in Applied Illustration

1986          East Surrey College of Art and Design, U.K.,                 Specialized Calligraphy & Heraldry Course

Professional Experience

1987-Present :    Owner and President, Kathryn Adams Inc..Produce award-winning illustrations for international clients. Manage Company billing, licensing contracts, and promotional production costs. Develop new business through strategic direct marketing campaigns. Maintain clients through steady contact, promotional mailings and website. Clients include The New York Times, Harvard Magazine, The Smithsonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Oxford University Press, Taxi Advertising, USA Weekend, and Newsweek Magazine. Lettered and painted Coat of Arms for National Museum of Civilization in Hull Quebec, presented to museum by Jeanne Sauvé, the Governor General of Canada.

1997-2000 :  Co-owner of Illustration Representation Agency, Three in a Box. Organized promotional events in Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London with focus on showcasing portfolios of artists and building / cultivating relationships with potential client base. Supported and expanded Company profile by representing Company at industry events, solicited new artists for representation, solicited new clients and provided marketing guidance and portfolio structuring to represented artists. Successfully established solid European foundation for agency. 

2005- present : Instructor, OCAD. Teach all 4th Year Illustration Business Practices courses. Teach Guerrilla Entrepreneurism.

2001- Present : Instructor, Sheridan College. Teach all 3rd & 4th year Business Practices courses. Have taught 2nd year core Illustration course, Information Illustration and Post-Degree Advanced Illustration.

Awards \ Grants

American Illustration Illustration Award 2009

3 X 3 Magazine Illustration Award 2006

American Illustration Award 2006

Applied Arts Magazine Illustration Annual, 2003 - 2 awards in              Design & Promotion Category

The Advertising and Design Club of Canada, 1994 - Silver Award

CAPIC Awards, 1994 - Merit

Applied Arts Magazine Illustration Annual, 1994 - Merit

Professional Affiliations / Boards / Juries

Past President and Vice President of the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto