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Catherine Kanner: Art Director, Teacher, Colleague, Collaborator, Client and Friend

Catherine Kanner sitting in red chair
Art Director and Illustrator Catherine Kanner

I have written about Catherine before, but as I approach my 30th year in business, she is worthy few more words of sentiment. As my Art Director at the Los Angeles Ballet, as a colleague teaching together at the Otis Institute of Art and Design, as a collaborator who has worked with me on numerous creative projects, as a client working for her on her own projects, and as a friend who has always been there for me in business and personal life, I have been in Catherine's circle of influence for 20+ years.

She is one of five who are directly responsible for the success of my career.

Longest Collaboration with an Art Director on a Single Project

Our professional relationship began with the rebirth of Los Angeles Ballet in 2005, when Catherine was ask to head up art direction for the dance company. Through our connection at the Otis Institute of Art and Design, she asked me to help her design, develop and maintain the new and upcoming Los Angeles Ballet website.

We would work in perfect harmony launching season after season, repertoire after repertoire for 17 successful seasons.

With the changing of artistic directors and with the desire to pursue her dreams to grow her publishing company The Melville Press she embarked on a new journey, thus ending one the longest collaborations I have ever had with another creative on a single project.

The Nutcracker promotional piece
Catherine's work to promote The Nutcracker for the Los Angeles Ballet

Collaborations and Referrals

During her tenure at the LAB, we collaborated on numerous projects which included websites for her husband, Winston Brock Chappell to promote his Los Angeles-based architecture firm, and her daughter Annakate Chappell to help establish career as a screenwriter for film and television, and promote her self-published, fashion/lifestyle magazine "That’s Alright Mama".

Lofty contemporary living room
Los Angeles Contemporary: Winston Brock Chappell Architect

Annakate Chappell headshot
Writer and Producer Annakate Chappell

Well connected to creatives around Los Angeles, she referred me to and collaborated on the design and development several websites for Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture. She got me in the door to work with agencies like Deutsch and Jack Morton, collaborating with teams on several large marketing campaigns from 2000 to 2004.

I nearly had an opportunity to work with her client, author Michael Crichton, but sadly he passed on in 2008. Catherine’s work appeared in his novel, "Timeline".

Modern house overlooking city
Kun ll: Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture

Illustration of Castle
Sketch by Catherine for Michael Crichton's novel"Timeline".

We collaborated on the design and development of her own websites to promote her as a creative director and illustrator, and to promote her hand-bound book publishing company.

Book ope showing illustrations that cover both pages
Catherine Kanner's illustration for "House of the Rose", Calamus Press

"Prayers Written at Vailima" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Illustrated, bound, and published by The Melville Press.

I am forever grateful, humbled, and honored to have Catherine as a creative director, colleague, collaborator, client and most of all, a friend in my life. I look forward to many more years of working together in an environment that has always been rich with talent, creativity, and cultural value.

Who is Catherine Kanner?

Award-winning illustrator/designer with experience across editorial, advertising and children's books. As an illustrator and book designer she has worked for a variety of publishers including Knopf, Random House, Little Brown, Scholastic and many others. Her editorial work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times Opinion section, New York Times, US New and World Report and many others. As publisher of The Melville Press, her illustrated, hand-bound limited editions of 200 or less have been collected internationally by private and special collections. In 2014 she was inducted into the Album Cover Hall of Fame for her illustrated cover of Bob Dylan's Slow Train Coming.

Slow Train Coming Album Cover by Catherine Kanner
Bob Dylan's "Slow Train Coming" album cover illustrated by Catherine Kanner

Do learn more about her at


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