Todd Elementary School students were treated to a visit by author/illustrator/animator and Croton-on-Hudson resident Evan Turk, winner of the Ezra Keats Award for children’s books.
Students prepared for Turk’s visit by reading his books including The Storyteller, which they used as inspiration for digital drawings and paintings that now line the halls of Todd.
“Making art is a way of trying to understand something,” Turk explained. He brought in many of the original drawings that ultimately became illustrations in his books. Seeing the artwork allowed students to appreciate the layers of each piece and led to a discussion of ways that “happy accidents happen.”
Turk explained that while working on Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters, he ran out of white paper which forced him to create different background environments, white for country scenes, black for city. He outlined Waters in red on each page and, when paired with the text, the illustrations reinforced the musician’s personality. Turk also explained that planning a story can help artists avoid mistakes.
He answered questions about his artistic process and life as an author-illustrator including ‘Which book is your favorite?’ Said Turk, “The one coming out in June: You Are Home,” a love letter to our National Parks.
The visit was made possible by the Briarcliff PTA, the PTA Author Visit Committee and Librarian Tara Phethean.