I keep dreaming about the day when I will become a published author. I can’t wait to speak at schools and libraries to share my story.
I’ve always looked up to authors and although I haven’t met most of my favorites, I still consider them mentors. Authors and illustrators have a great influence on their readers and this truth came to life just last week.
I took my kids to see award winning author and illustrator Brian Pinkney at the public library. The room slowly filled up with young and old waiting in anticipation to hear him speak.
Once he arrived, Brian shared about his family life and his journey in becoming an illustrator. He initially learned his craft by watching his famous father, Jerry Pinkney illustrate in their home. The kids in the audience were very engaged and asked questions like:
“When did you first start drawing?”
“How long did it take you to draw all the pictures in that book?”
“What art tools do you use the most?”
It was so cool to see the kids hanging on his every word. My daughter Anaya said “ I was so surprised when he shared that it took him over 8 years to write one of his books. I guess the process can take a long time.”
In addition, the kids were really shocked when Brian stated “I have over 120 sketchbooks.” As he showed one of his books, he explained that he would always travel with a sketchbook because inspiration could come at anytime.
I didn’t realize how influential that moment would be for my daughter Jayda. In fact, later that evening, around 9pm (an hour before her bedtime) she approached me timidly, “Mom, I was wondering if I could have one of your sketchbooks? You know, one of the ones in the box.”
I also love to draw and paint but have been too busy to make it a priority---so most of my supplies have been collecting dust! Anyway, Jayda’s request was a big deal considering most of her drawings were done on scratch paper littered around the house!
Well you know how I replied...“Of course! You know what Brian said earlier--he uses sketch books all the time.”
The next day this is what she showed me:
I couldn’t believe it! An hour with a professional illustrator and my daughter became a drawing machine! The power of Brian’s story was immediate and powerful! I only hope that in my future I will be able to do the same--inspire the next generation to keep pursuing their dreams!
Thank you Brian Pinkney for making time to visit us at the library. Your story and willingness to share your experience has influenced my daughter in a powerful way and who knows where she will take this passion!
You can learn more about Brian at: http://www.brianpinkney.net/main.html
You can learn more about Brian’s father, Jerry at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FknKcmsZPzQ
And you can learn more about Brian’s wife, Andrea at: http://andreadavispinkney.com/
Ayanna is a debut author that enjoys writing fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, and poetry for children. She finished her first manuscript in 2015 and is currently working with a literary agent to represent her work to Publishing houses.