Why Author Visits Matter
"The celebrated fifteenth-century Japanese artist
Sesshu Toyo's ink drawings of animals were said to be
so realistic that they would sometimes spring to life."
~James Gilreath, preface to facsimile edition of The Boy Who Drew Cats, 1987, Library of Congress, Washington
"When I visit schools to talk about writing
and illustrating, I recall childhood afternoons I spent in my grandfather's library. I sat in his overstuffed
chair enraptured Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth, John Tenniel,
Arthur Rackham, Winsor McCay, Walter Crane, Maxfield Parrish,
Wanda Gag, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and more.
My reading skills were rudimentary, but in the universal
language of pictures I was fluent, as most children are. I
scrutinized favorite illustrations for hours, revisiting them
over and over again. A Catholic child of stained glass churches,
I knew a sanctuary window when I saw one; and each of these
color pictures seemed to me a child-sized window or doorway
into another world.
Day after day, I slipped through these portals, visiting
the strange and magical places beyond. I warmed myself by
fires in Sherwood Forest, ate charred game from a spit and
caroused till dawn with outlaws; I befriended elves and
outwitted dragons, evil hags and idiot kings; I found treasures
and adventures as real to me as any in my own life and,
at day's end, I imported these experiences back into my
own ever-widening realm."
from essay, Windows on Worlds, ©2003 Clay Carmichael
Clay Carmichael's award-winning picture books have been
translated into many languages. She teaches writing and illustrating and speaks about writing, illustrating, publishing and the exotic life of the author to students of all ages.
Clay lives and works in Carrboro, North Carolina, with her husband,
sculptor Mike Roig. More samples of her artwork and information about her presentations and workshops can be
found at www.claycarmichael.com and Orange County Artist's Guild web site.
Follow Clay on Goodreads here.