This Week’s Episode:
“What’s one of your earliest memories?” my friend Darrell asks me. At first, it’s hard to remember. As I’m thinking back and back… I finally have one. Poetry! My grandmother and I loved to (and still do!) write, recite, and memorize poems.
I remember one poem in particular to this day: “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out” by Shel Silverstein.
Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout would not take the garbage out
She'd scour the pots and scrub the pans
Candy the yams and spice the hams
And though her daddy would scream and shout
She simply would not take the garbage out
And so, it piled up to the ceilings
Coffee grounds, potato peelings…
It continues on and I know the whole poem by heart to this day.
What’s really crazy though? It isn’t just the poem I remember – I can still see the accompanying image of a looming, tottering garbage pile threatening to fall over.
Even as an adult, that poem and image are etched in my memory.
My special guest today, Mike Gordon, has spent a lifetime illustrating books of all kinds. For 36 years, Mike has illustrated over 400 books and brought words to life in the form of images.
In this episode, we’re taking the story and going beyond the words! We discuss going from blank page to the first drawn line, knowing when you’re done drawing a character, the desire (or lack thereof) of recreating past characters, and the love for being an illustrator.
What you will learn in this episode:
- Why quality can sometimes take a back seat to quantity
- What does NOT need to be in a story
- Why looking back might actually slow you down
Who is Mike?
British-born Mike Gordon is a designer, illustrator, and caricaturist who brings original, sophisticated styles and techniques to his work. In 1983, the talented and highly experienced artist started freelance illustrating and has illustrated over 150 books. He draws from his international experience in publishing, public relations, journalism, and advertising to aid his projects and improve his skill set.
Mike’s work incorporates fiction and non-fiction and has been seen in over 18 countries. He illustrates and designs for major publishers like HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Random Century, Western Publishing, Walker Books, Reed International, Ladybird, Longman, and Wayland. In addition, he’s produced hundreds of greeting card designs for Hallmark in the U.S. and Gordon Fraser in the U.K., among other international giants.
In his spare time, Mike enters cartoons in worldwide competitions which has added to his global reputation as a top humorous illustrator. Ever since 1993, he’s set up operations in California where he’s continued his stellar career, even gaining a nomination in the National Cartoonists Society Awards.
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JULIAN REEVESPEAKER, AUTHOR, FORMER MUSIC DIRECTOR OF HAMILTON
JUNA KOLLMEIERASTROPHYSICIST, TED SPEAKER
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