By Evan Turk

Evan Turk’s Bold Collages Honored

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in By Evan Turk | Comments Off on Evan Turk’s Bold Collages Honored

Illustrator Evan Turk is honored once again for his divine work on the picture book Grandfather Gandhi.  The Marion Vannett Ridgway Award, which honors first-time illustrators, gave Turk an Honor Award, saying: “Turk’s bold collage technique ably meets the challenge of a text that emphasizes internal emotions and conversations: he employs shadow and silhouette, sinuous lines, and warm colors to achieve a raw visual power across a varied progression of illustrations. His ingenious incorporation of cotton,thread and fabric into his artwork lends dimension to the book’s pages and brings alive its message of turning negative energy into good.” —The Marion Vannett Ridgway...

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Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in By Evan Turk, Illustrations | Comments Off on Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor

“The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award celebrates and inspires exceptional new writers and illustrators, who are seldom recognized in the early stages of their careers,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “These new artists have created books of beauty in the spirit of Keats that portray the universal qualities of childhood, a strong and supportive family and the multicultural nature of our world.” Evan Turk was awarded the 2015 New Illustrator Honor from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation for his work on Grandfather Gandhi. “I am beyond thrilled to receive the Ezra Jack Keats Honor!,” said Evan Turk, “Keats was an incredible, inspiring, and boundary breaking artist and storyteller, and I am so honored to be included in his company in this...

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Let’s Get Busy on Grandfather Gandhi

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in By Bethany Hegedus, By Evan Turk | Comments Off on Let’s Get Busy on Grandfather Gandhi

Matthew Winner of the Let’s Get Busy Podcast interviewed both Grandfather Gandhi author Bethany Hegedus and illustrator Evan Turk.  Listen in! You can also listen to the “Path of Peace” event from March 2014 at Books of Wonder with authors  and Bethany Hegedus and illustrator Evan Turk.  Matthew Winner moderated a discussion between them and author Ilyasah Shabazz , the daughter of Malcolm X and creator of Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm...

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In the Footsteps of the Mahatma

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in By Evan Turk, Illustrations, Mahatma Gandhi | Comments Off on In the Footsteps of the Mahatma

By Evan Turk I am back from a wonderful trip to England with some VERY exciting news to announce! Before I left, I was asked to create illustrations for the Indian edition of National Geographic Traveller magazine to go with an travel article about places throughout India that were important in the life of Gandhi called, “In the Footsteps of the Mahatma.” They used illustrations from Grandfather Gandhi to represent several of these places, and asked me to create three new illustrations in the same style to show different points on Gandhi’s life. As a huge fan of National Geographic and travel illustration, this was a dream job to get. Even more, they surprised me by putting one of my illustrations on the cover of the issue! It was an amazing feeling seeing that iconic golden rectangle around one of my illustrations. Thank you to the innovative editor Niloufer Venkatraman for the opportunity! First, was his childhood home in Porbandar, which is maintained as a historical site. Here, young Gandhi is shown in his favorite room on the upper floor of the house. He liked to read up there because the room was so airy and well-ventilated. The second was Rajkot, where Gandhi lived as a boy. He attended the stately Alfred High School in the background (now known as Mohandas Gandhi High School) and loved to play cricket. The last (and my personal favorite) was Gandhi as a young lawyer in Mumbai, getting off the train in the Churchgate...

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Spinning Wheel

Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Book's Journey, By Evan Turk, Illustrations | Comments Off on Spinning Wheel

Post by Evan Turk “Do you spin carefully at least 160 rounds daily? Is the yarn even? Do you yourself fix the spinning wheel? Do you keep a daily account? If you keep this one promise, you will learn a lot.” —From Bapu (Gandhi) to Arun, Grandfather Gandhi  A lump of tangled cotton fibers might not look like much, but it has the potential to be spun and transformed into a thread, which can be connected and woven with other threads to create something beautiful and useful. From the first pages of the book, you see cotton in its raw form, as a fine yarn, and woven into useful fabric in the clothes of the family. This transformation mirrors Arun’s own transformation, from an unruly, wild ball of anger, towards the spun, intentional, directed thread towards positive change at the end. Early on in the illustrations, I had a very romantic notion that I was going to spin all of the yarn by hand, it was going to teach me self-discipline like it did for Arun in the story. I wanted it to be this very meditative process that would happen as I was doing the book. So I bought a charkha (Indian spinning wheel) and a box of cotton shipped from India and I planned to sit down every day I worked on the book and try and spin some thread for an hour or so. I did that for a couple of months, trying a few days a week to spin anything at all. But it was very difficult, a lot harder than I was expecting, and after two months I had made maybe two inches of lumpy thread. As the deadline drew near, I began to think about other options. While looking online for somewhere that I could buy charkha-spun yarn, I found Eileen Hallman’s website. She had how-to videos, which I probably should have had months ago, but I called her and asked if I could buy some yarn spun on a charkha. She didn’t sell charkha-spun yarn, but graciously offered to spin it for me. It turns out she was able to do in five minutes what I had been trying weeks to do, so I was thrilled. She spun all of the white yarn that I used in the illustrations. So although my own experience with spinning was more of an exercise in frustration and the generosity of others, in the story it is an illustration of a beautiful transformation and creation of something out of...

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Light & Shadow in Grandfather Gandhi

Posted by on Feb 25, 2014 in Book's Journey, By Evan Turk, Illustrations | Comments Off on Light & Shadow in Grandfather Gandhi

Post by Evan Turk “Have I not told you how anger is like electricity? Anger can strike, like lightning, and split a living tree in two. Or it can be channeled, transformed. A switch can be flipped an it can shed light like a lamp.” —Grandfather Gandhi Where there is a shadow, there is always a light. Our shadow is often the worst things we believe about ourselves: the things that make us feel unworthy. For Arun, in Grandfather Gandhi, this was his anger. “How could he, a Gandhi, be so quick to anger?” “Grandfather didn’t have to say it. I’d never live up to being a Gandhi. I’d never be at peace.” —Grandfather Gandhi In the original thumbnail sketches for the book, I tried to think of ways to use shadows to communicate how Arun was feeling. The shadows could show his inner anger, the pressure to live up to his grandfather, and his untapped potential. The contrast between light and dark, often with the sun or moon beaming overhead, goes throughout the illustrations in the book, illuminating Arun’s inner struggle. Arun’s shadow follows him, showing how he sees himself. He sees his anger as an uncontrollable force within himself, and something that makes him different, monstrous, and unworthy. Throughout the story, Arun learns that his anger does not make him unworthy, but presents him with a choice of how to use that anger. Shadows can be dark and frightening, but they also have the power to unify, connect, and make the shape of things more apparent. Your potential is all about how you want to see yourself, and whom you choose to...

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