For many people, contributing to a published book is a lifelong dream. However, few achieve it while still in college. For Loyola studio arts major Paul Kalil Roach, this dream is already a reality. Roach is a published illustrator for the children’s picture book From A to Zoot, released in October 2018 by Mascot Publishing. Now on sale at nationwide retailers such as Target, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, this book is already generating quite a buzz for the young and talented artist.

For more than a year, authors Margaret David Laborde and Rebecca Doherty searched for an artist to illustrate From A To Zoot, their whimsical and positive children’s book. After receiving an email about their job opening, Roach submitted a drawing of an owl. They called within 15 minutes and gave him the job. “My favorite part about the entire project was being able to learn early on in my art career how to manage a large project and communicate ideas and thoughts with the authors of the book who hired me,” says Roach.

Plus, children are already responding well to the book’s positive message. After the authors donated copies of the book to the Shriners Hospital in Shreveport, it was picked up for use in the hospital’s bibliotherapy program to help kids boost their self-esteem. Knowing that the book has already helped children in hospitals and schools across Louisiana has been an extremely rewarding part of the project for Roach.

Drawing inspiration from surrealist painter Salvador Dali and New Orleans’ own Frenchy, Roach plans to keep honing his skills in the art world, taking on different mediums such as painting and glassblowing. With the ultimate goal of owning his own warehouse or art gallery in the future, Roach is currently working on a solo gallery pop-up exhibition. Mural work is another passion, and he recently created one of Dr. John at the Elephant Collective in Mid-City. Plus, at an event put on by The American Cancer Society and Superior Seafood called “Shuck Cancer,” Roach collaborated with another mural artist to raise money for this incredible cause.

Get Involved

For more information on From A To Zoot, visit Follow Paul Roach on Instagram at; he’s currently taking muraling jobs.