Main gig: Writer and illustrator
Home base: New York City
Leanne Shapton started out as a newspaper illustrator but hit her stride with her 2006 book Was She Pretty?—an investigation of past love featuring her witty words and elegant drawings.
“I find drawing and painting come more easily,” says the Toronto native, “but I am just as interested in words.”
These talents earned her a 2012 National Book Award for Swimming Studies, an unconventional memoir that delves into Shapton’s former life as a competitive swimmer.
Up next, she’ll release Women in Clothes, a collaborative piece with Shiela Heti and Heidi Julavits, as well as a book of paintings featuring black-and-white watercolors of famous film scenes.
Says Shapton: “I like having the chance to examine how I see the world, or hope to see the world, through my work.”