Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators


Fred Carlson




Fred Carlson grew up in rural Connecticut and came to Pittsburgh in 1973 to attend Carnegie Mellon University graduating in 1977

with a degree in Design. He drew his first paying free-lance commissions for The Carnegie magazine while still a student 40 years ago.

Fred has been a self-employed free-lancer for 35 years.


He is one of the most well-known artist/illustrators in the mid-Atlantic market

having completed works as large as room-sized murals and as small as one of his 400 music packaging covers.


His awards have

included two acceptances into the NY Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition. Recent nationally recognized assignments have

included a DVD cover series for Guitar Workshop of famous delta blues guitarists Robert Johnson, Son House, Bukka White, Lead

Belly, Blind Willie Johnson, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Charley Patton. Other nationally recognized clients have included: NY Times, SONY

Music, BMG/RCA/County, Koppers Corp, Westinghouse, WQED, Saturday Evening Post, Cable in the Classroom, Yankee, PNC

Bank, Home Depot, National Science Foundation, and Carnegie Mellon.


Fred was an Adjunct Professor in the Art Department teaching Advanced Illustration to seniors in the Illustration Program at Carnegie

Mellon University for 15 years. He has lectured widely on his work both as an independent artist and in his roles as Graphic

Artists Guild (GAG) President 1991-1993 and Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators (PSI) President from 2000 to 2004. In 2003, Fred

was a Speaker at the ICON3 National Illustration Conference in Philadelphia. He currently serves PSI as Treasurer and New

Member Contact.


Fred’s nature illustration is permanently installed at the Smithsonian/National Zoo in Washington DC, Cleveland Metroparks

Zoo, and Moraine State Park Jennings Education Center. A retrospective exhibition including 85 works of his scientific illustration

was shown in 2009 at the Moench Hall Gallery on the campus of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana. Fred also

co-chaired the ground breaking 3-way collaborative show “Fission of Form” exhibited at the Panza Gallery August-October 2009 in

conjunction with the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors and the Pittsburgh Poets. In 2013, he chaired the large PSI exhibition “Art for a Hire

Purpose” at the AIP Gallery in downtown Pittsburgh. He also recently completed two children’s book projects, The Christmas Book of

Hope and The Little Book of Hope.


Fred exhibited his Bill Monroe American Traveler CD cover for two years at the International

Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY and his CD cover of the Mississippi Sheiks was recently purchased for permanent

display at the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis, TN in 2014.


Besides here at the PSI website, examples of  Fred’s work can be seen at the websites






Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146
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  • Advertising
  • Architectural/Interior
  • Book
  • Children
  • Corporate
  • Editorial
  • Medical/Technical
  • Nature
  • Package
  • Portrait
  • Products/Merchandise


  • Animals
  • Architectural
  • Books
  • Botanical
  • Children
  • Collage
  • Colored Pencils
  • Conceptual
  • Custom Lettering
  • Digital Paint
  • Education
  • Ethnic
  • Food & Drink
  • Gouache
  • Graphite Pencil
  • Illustrated Maps
  • Logo/Icons
  • Mixed Media
  • Packaging
  • Pittsburgh
  • Posters
  • Religious
  • Sports
  • Watercolor