Local Santa Cruz Artist Jared Leake Launches His First Self-Published Children’s Book


 | December 7, 2022

Jared Leake is a trained artist and designer who has been creating for 20 years. He was previously a high school art teacher here in Santa Cruz when becoming a father in 2021, made a career transition to enter the world of children’s illustrations and books. He has enjoyed entering this new creative outlet as it has allowed him to showcase his work with a new perspective. His designs and creations are filled with color, creativity and humor where he draws from his experience of travel and daily life with his son Maceo as inspiration.

Leake’s first book, “Have You Seen Slithy?”, follows Trunky the elephant in his search for his friend Slithy to tell him something important. Along the way, Slithy’s friends join Trunky to help search for him. A heartfelt story of friendship ensues. Leake envisions this book as the first of a series of children’s books that follow the journey of each of the characters.

Aligned with “Have You Seen Slithy?”, Leake created a coloring book where children can color in the illustrations in a color scheme of their choosing. Using his passion for design and experiences from building his lifestyle brand Wanderer Designs, Leake has also designed a variety of children’s clothes including onesies and toddler t-shirts that showcase the characters from his book.

Leake will be premiering his new book to the public at Shanty Shack Brewing’s 6 Year Anniversary Party on Saturday December 17th as well as at Childish Toy Shop’s Pacific Ave location on Sunday December, 18th and Thursday December, 22nd.

To contact Jared Leake to learn more you can email him at or message him through his Instagram @jared_leake_work.



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