Mike Lowery's work you might recognize from recent Starbucks campaigns. His style has a strong signature, and I love the characters he creates.
His technique is a mix of traditional and digital - he works on paper first, and then cleans it up and colours it digitally. I think this is really the new way to illustrate, most illustrators I know do this now. Cheats are important, but can't replace what you can do with your hands.
He lives and works outside of Washington DC.