Two new author/illustrators- Piotr Parda and Damon Lehrer- will talk about the inspirations, method, and ordeals behind their just published books Graduation Day (Parda) and Rocket Boy (Lehrer).
Come see some original artwork for the books, and purchase a signed or doodled on copy at Damon Lehrer's Vernon Street Studios.
The primary inspiration [for my new wordless book Graduation Day] came to me one late August while I was walking through my quite industrial looking neighborhood. There were all sorts of weeds sprouting from the cracks in the pavement. Some of them very tall and interesting. Yes, I know plants growing through concrete inspired many people already and made quite a few motivational posters in corporate offices everywhere but this time it felt as if I was looking at it with a fresh perspective. I thought the plants were beautiful in the way of their variety, diversity and versatility. It wasn’t really about brute force but flexibility and perseverance. It made me think about the crushing majority of humans living on this planet having no choice but to make things work with what’s around them. And if they manage to do it, they improve their worlds in a lasting way and against overwhelming odds. It’s much more powerful and long lasting than the top down brute force of an angry sledgehammer.
Piotr Parda is also the illustrator of The Gentleman Bat by Abraham Schroeder (2014).
I had just moved with my family back into my childhood home, and as the primary caretaker of my three year old son I had a lot of occasions to watch him sleep. One day I saw him in a particularly funny, abandoned pose on his little bed that had been converted from a crib, and I drew a picture of him with his animals and toys all around him. Though that drawing didn’t end up in the book, it started the series that formed the narrative of a boy dreaming about drawing and about the potential consequences of creativity.