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David Macaulay: Artist at Play by Will Hillenbrand
MacArthur fellow David Macaulay was born in England in 1946; his family moved to New Jersey in 1957. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), spending his fifth year in Rome. He then earned a degree in architecture. The book that inaugurated his brilliant series on architecture and engineering was the 1973 Cathedral(revisited twenty-five years later). Macaulay’s many awards include the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards; the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award; the Christopher Award; and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. Will Hillenbrand, himself a renowned illustrator, visited Macaulay in his studio in Vermont. READ MORE

Richard McLaughlin: Fugu World Tour and Beyond by Kenneth Smith
Richard McLaughlin is a man for all seasons: writer, poet, potter, ceramic sculptor, musician, educator, and artist. “At first glance,” he says, “music, poetry, pottery, sculpture, and painting may not seem interrelated, yet for me they are.” Indeed, his art is informed by all of these disciplines enabling him to express a broad range of content, style, and even whimsy. READ MORE

Melissa Sweet: Playing With Pieces by Will Hillenbrand
The nearly one hundred fiction and nonfiction books illustrated by Melissa Sweet have won every possible award—the Caldecott Honor, the NCTE Notable, the New York Times Best Illustrated, the Parents’ Choice, etc. Sweet’s collages and paintings have appeared in the New York TimesMartha Stewart Living, and Madison Park Greetings; and on Smilebox.com and eeBoo Toys, which were honored with the Oppenheim and Parents’ Choice awards. She has written three books, including Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade, which won the 2012 Sibert Medal, the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award, Flora Stieglitz Straus Award, and the Cook Prize, in addition to being named an ALA Notable Book. Will Hillenbrand talked to her in her studio in Rockport, Maine. READ MORE

Mark Crilley: Artist, Author and YouTube "Dad" by Neely McLaughlin
Mark Crilley, known for such hits as AkikoMikki Falls, and Brody’s Ghost, is tremendously popular online, with about two million YouTube subscribers and a strong presence in other platforms. “My theory of online stuff is that you have to go where the people are rather than run around trying to lure people to your little ivory-tower website or blog off in some corner of the Internet,” he explains. He has gone where the people are, and the people have gone to him. READ MORE

Rami Niemi: International Illustrator by Luke McLaughlin
Rami Niemi has illustrated countless articles for a laundry list of internationally recognized publications. He has provided illustrations for Google and the US and UK versions of the technology magazine Wired. His work has been featured in the magazine Men’s Health as well as the New York Times. He has provided his own brand of colorful, nostalgic comic book inspired images with a smooth, modern, computer-produced vector finish for all of these and countless more publications around the world. READ MORE

Lucrecer Braxton: Inspiring the Everyday Photographer by Deb Heneghan
A portrait and still-life photographer in Cincinnati, Lucrecer (Lu-cree-sha) Braxton started blogging about ten years ago. She inspires amateur photographers (and likely some professionals) to be creative and tell their stories with photos. She encourages the faint of heart and hopes to help them become the self-confident photographers they aspire to be.  READ MORE

Chad Moore: More Than Piffle by Luke McLaughlin
Despite having a full-time job, a wife, and three kids, Chad Moore has created a thriving small business selling his photographs. In fact, it is perhaps because of his job, wife, and kids that he has been successful. Moore got his start as an artist, a term that he still hesitates to use to describe himself, when his wife, Chesney, was organizing a charity art fundraiser for her interior design organization. They had just had their first child, Kate, and Moore used the camera they had purchased to take high-quality family photos to create still lifes of some of Kate’s toys in the urban environment of downtown Birmingham, Alabama.  READ MORE

Jeff Brown: Unnatural Light Photography by Luke McLaughlin
New York-based photographer Jeff Brown is known for his dynamic and dramatic portraits of businesspeople, important politicians, and celebrities as well as ordinary everyday people. He brings his signature hard-edged colorful style to the covers of magazines such as Bloomberg BusinessweekFast Company, and the New York Times Magazine, but until he took a black-and-white photography course at a community college, he had never considered photography as a career. Before coming to New York to study photography, Jeff Brown took pictures in his grandparents’ backyards and made a portfolio of street photography that got him into Parsons in New York. READ MORE

Tomie dePaola: The Delightful Responsibility to Enthrall & Entertain by Will Hillenbrand
Among Tomie dePaola’s many awards are the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota, and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association. The American Library Association has honored him with a Caldecott Honor Book, a Newbery Honor Book, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder award for “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

An old friend of Tomie’s, Will Hillenbrand, the author and illustrator of award-winning books like What a Treasure!, Traveling to Tondo, Spring Is Here, and Louie!, first met Tomie twenty-seven years ago when Will and his wife, Jane, attended the opening reception for a show of dePaola’s work in Nashua, New Hampshire. The next day they took dePaola’s workshop, “So You Want To Write a Children’s Book.” In November 2012, Will and Tomie chatted in dePaola’s two-hundred-year-old barn studio in New Hampshire. READ MORE

Mikey Burton: "Midwesterny" Editorial Illustration by Luke McLaughlin
Mikey Burton started out as a designer. He studied graphic design at Kent State University in Ohio, learning design to make brochures and brand guidelines and logos, and ended up being an illustrator. He approaches illustration from the mind-set of a designer: “I’m always trying to make the illustration process as simple as possible, to use as minimal an amount of information as possible, because I am not an illustrator,” says Burton. Despite his claim of not being an illustrator, his illustrations with a self-described “Midwesterny Aesthetic” have found their way into the top ranks of internationally renowned newspapers and magazines. READ MORE

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