Michael Hays - Columbia College Chicago

Michael Hays




Michael is an adjunct art and design professor in Columbia’s Design Department and Art and Art History Department specializing in traditional and digital illustration, children’s books and animation.

Michael has illustrated 22 children’s books with major publishers. Titles include W is for Windy City, A Chicago Alphabet by Steven L. Layne and Deborah Dover Layne illustrated with Judy MacDonald, Sleeping Bear Press (2010); The Hundredth Name by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, Boyds Mills Press (1995); Jonathan and His Mommy by Irene Smalls, Little Brown and Company (1992); Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger, Simon and Schuster (1986).

He has illustrated over 60 young adult book jackets. Publishers include Harper Collins, Dutton, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Morrow, Atheneum, Delacorte, Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, Mcelderry Books, Knopf, Clarion.

Michael illustrated Big World Magazine, featured in The Promotion, a film starring Seann William Scott and John C. Riley, written and directed by Steve Conrad 2009.

He illustrated multicultural portraits for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Influenza Educational DVD 2007-2008.

Michael has been a art and design career lecturer presenting 100+ K-12 multi-media performance events about the work of illustrating children’s books.

He has sold over 1.5 million copies of his picture book Abiyoyo by Pete Seeger. Multiple editions include Simon and Schuster hard cover, Aladdin mass market softcover, Scholastic school editions, Spanish, Japanese and Swedish foreign language editions. Abiyoyo was featured on PBS TV shows Reading Rainbow (1988) and Between The Lions (2002).

Michael earned his Illustration BFA at Rhode Island School of Design in 1979.

Instructional Areas

Children's Book Illustration, Digital Illustration, After Effects Animation, Experimental Illustration, Foundation Skills in Adobe Illustrator and InDesign

Creative Practice and Research Interests

360 VR illustration and animation using Adobe CC 2018 Photoshop and After Effects tools for immersive art and video


B.F.A., Illustration Rhode Island School of Design 1979