E.B.: My medium for DWTN was watercolors-on-paper, using hues that were very different from the ones I usually use. My creative process is basically working with live models, and putting them in an authentic setting, with period costumes.
E.B.: My journey involved using research from libraries and online resources, and links that the author provided.
E.B.: I teach at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA), and I went to a student's home and photographed him as the adult Blind Willie Johnson. We took pictures inside and outside--with onlookers, which was great fun--and he posed with the guitar as Willie.
E.B.: What makes an illustration magical, for me, is working with the live model. Because I work to capture the soul and essence of the character, and try to find that expressed in the person I'm painting.
E.B.: I did not know about Willie before illustrating the book. The story, for me, is about what it takes to overcome hardship - that special thing that individuals possess, that helps them endure against all odds. Here's this man who was blind, and poor, and yet was able to find many positives in life - that's what makes his art special to me.
e: What is your favorite or most challenging part of being a creator?
E.B.: Being faced with a [visual] problem and coming up with a solution.
E.B.: Yes - here's this person of color who becomes an example of what humanity is on earth, a representative of the whole human race.
E.B.: My dream project is basically to complete a book that I have written and will illustrate--a story called Little Earl and the Search for Time—which is slotted to come out in 2022 with Penguin/Random House. Many thanks for the great questions!
I am participating in the BookShop Affiliate Program. This program pays bloggers a small percentage of each purchased book from a post. But the best part is, purchases are fulfilled by bookstores near you, thereby, helping to keep your local bookstores afloat too! It's good for everyone! Click the book cover to purchase this title through Bookshop.