The Exquisite Balancing Act of Text and Art
Our SCBWI SWTX chapter had the honor of hosting Author-Illustrator Richard Jesse Watson the weekend of October 19-20. On Saturday Richard started with some information on himself and his path to the kid literature world. In 1989 He won the Golden Kite Award and in 2012 He was selected to be a Golden Kite judge.
Watson studied at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena City College and completed an Art History Practicum in Europe, Russia, and Eastern Europe. He was named an Ezra Jack Keats Fellow by the University of Minnesota. His paintings have been chosen for numerous juried exhibitions, including The Original Art Exhibit, the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibit, permanent and traveling exhibits with MAZZA Museum, National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature Museum, and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art.
Attendees where given and assignment to bring to the conference to share.
As an illustrator we were assigned to do a paradigm shift in the Hundred Acre Woods.
“What day is it?”
“It’s today.” squeaked Piglet
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.
Here is my image of Pooh and the gang at a Texas Rodeo.
The writers also had to do a paradigm shift by putting two well know stories together and fuse them into one picture book
As a group we learned to play with our work and how to let our characters voices be heard. We were told to come up to the front of the class and create letters out of the shadows of our bodies.
Here one of the attendees Jeff, started to practice his letters before he was assigned one.
We also had a converstion with our characters to give us a little different perspective on where our characters may be coming from.
Richard also did a portfolio review the following day. He was very incouraging and gave everyone lots of good feedback.
Watson has both written and illustrated published works since 1984. His version of The Night Before Christmas with HarperCollins was a New York Times Bestseller. People Magazine awarded his 1990 Nancy Willard collaboration Best Picture Book of the Year and Publishers Weekly asserts, “Watson’s artwork achieves a startling blend of the ancient and the timeless.”
I would highly recommend Richard for your library visits, workshops and conferences. Not only is Richard Jesse Watson an amazing illustrator and writer, he is a kind and honest person who is willing to share and inspire others through his work.