John Nez / About Me:

I've illustrated and written more than 60 books, from picture books to historical folk tales. I'm focused on creating my own picture books, which is my goal as a bookmaker.

I draw mostly in a whimsical style with the hope of conveying lots of feeling... happy, sad, sneaky, mad, hopeful, afraid... whatever. I'd guess that's about the main point of any illustration.

I work in a both real and digital mediums. Photoshop adds color, textures, patterns and depth. Real paper and paints add their own special character. The combination of traditional and digital mediums combines the best of art and science.

After getting my degree in English, I decided to become a children's book artist, so I moved to New York City to go to Parsons.

Art school only lasted one quarter. But I did get to take a class with Maurice Sendak, who was delighted to hear I was leaving school to start freelacing.

I already had a portfolio to show. I'd already been to college. So I started freelancing in New York City and I've been making books ever since.

My uncle, Edwin Schmidt, inspired me to become an illustrator. He had a great career as an illustrator and even did some Little Golden Books. He lived in a beautiful house in Valley Forge outside of Philadelphia.

After 5 years in New York, I moved back to Seattle, where I enjoy the natural wonders of the Northwest with my family.

In case you're curious, the surname Nez is the americanized version of the original Slovenian name Knez. And Knez is a common translation of "prince" in Croatian and Serbian literature, or so I'm told.

And I thought it was just short for 'Knave'.

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