Susan Eaddy joins us today to discuss creative thinking and her new picture book, SIR DRAKE THE BRAVE, written by Joy Jordan-Lake for Morehouse Publishing.
The circle began as it often does, with my Mom. She had a kind of reverence for two types of people. One was a medical doctor, the other was a creative, especially artists and writers. My brother took the doctor path, art was a no brainer for me. Mom was always slightly envious of those who had a creative talent and she blew on that spark in me to fan it into an unextinguishable flame. Books were important and plentiful in our household and I was encouraged to use any talent I had, to spread joy. Both of my parents worked at unfulfilling jobs and I felt that following my passion for art was fulfilling a vicarious need for them too..
My childhood memories are still strong. So writing and illustrating children’s books has been the perfect outlet for my default mentality of a 10 year old.

It wasn’t hard to put myself into Drake’s shoes as he battled bullies, and nighttime anxieties. The author, Joy Jordan-Lake has a keen sense of social justice and wanted to have a limb different protagonist without mentioning his handicap in the text. Drake is a regular kid who has the same worries that other kids do. I spent a delightful morning with her inspiration, Kenbe, who refuses to be hindered by his prosthetic leg. He whirled around me for hours while showing off his considerable biking, basketball and skateboarding skills.
The problem solving needed to translate all of my sketches and research into clay is part of the creative process I enjoy the most. How will I create Drake so his prosthetic is not what defines him? How do I to show his worry and connection with his Mom? This is where I get to tie in my love of research with my love of getting my hands dirty. My love of drawing, of coloring, the tactile sculpting, photography, photoshop…clay does it all for me. Like Bartholomew Cubbins I get to wear as many hats as I can balance on my head.
And finally, the last part of the creative process… sharing it all with kids. School visits are like performance art! My talks always vary depending on the audience, the questions, the reactions and interactions. Often I do a clay craft together with the kids. And the circle carries on… with the hope that my joy and inspiration will spark inspiration for some fellow creatives in the under 12 set.
      Watch the trailer for Sir Drake on Youtube:


Susan Eaddy said...

Elizabeth, thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful new direction on your blog. You will inspire many creatives for years to come.

Jennifer said...

I enjoyed this article very much. Susan is so talented. Love the pictures sprinkled throughout.