ANNE: Don, I'm very interested in your thoughts about being an illustrator who switches roles in your new book IT JES' HAPPENED, illustrated by Gregory Christie, Lee and Low Books, 2012. Not many authors or illustrators have done that, except me. What made you decide that someone else should illustrate this biography of outsider artist, Bill Traylor?
DON: It wasn't a hard decision. An illustrator should set his/her ego aside for the sake of the book. The question of who would illustrate IT JES' HAPPENED was a mutual decision between my editor and I. While I could have illustrated the story, my illustration styles weren't the perfect match for the text. My editor wanted the art to be edgy, gritty. I wanted to go with an illustrator who had broader name recognition than myself. Greg Christie became one of our top choices.
A few years ago before I started writing, I met author-illustrator Diane Stanley at a book festival. I was impressed with her versatility as a writer and illustrator. Many of the books that she wrote, she also illustrated. She illustrated for other authors. And other illustrators created art for some of the books she wrote. Good game plan, I thought, if I ever made the decision to write.Read More......
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