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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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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100 Scope Notes Predicts NYTBR Best

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Illustrations | Comments Off on 100 Scope Notes Predicts NYTBR Best

Travis Jonker, Children’s Librarian and author of the School Library Journal blog 100 Scope Notes, decided to “predict one of the most difficult to predict awards out there.” We are all honored that he choose Grandfather Gandhi as one of his pick’s the the New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Books of 2014!  Have a look at his predictions and see some amazing illustration...

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Calm White Thread, Tangled Black

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in Illustrations | Comments Off on Calm White Thread, Tangled Black

New York Public Library Children’s Librarian Elisabeth Bird wrote extensively about Evan Turk’s illustration for Grandfather Gandhi in a Fuse #8 post for School Library Journal. “It’s been a long time since I ran across a picture book with as long and lengthy a list of materials used in the illustrations as I have here. On the publication page it reads, “The illustrations for this book are rendered in watercolor, paper collage, cotton fabric, cotton, yarn, gouache, pencil, tea, and tin foil. Cotton hand spun on an Indian book charkha by Eileen Hallman.” Phew! You might think that all that “stuff” might yield something clogged up or messy, but that would be doing Mr. Turk a disservice. Observing how well he gives his pictures depth and texture, life and vitality, you might be shocked to learn that Grandfather Gandhi is his first picture book. From the spinning wheel endpapers to montages of sheer explosive anger, Turk makes a point of not only adhering to some of the more metaphorical aspects of the text, but finding new and creative ways to bring them to visual life. To my mind, the materials an artist uses in his or her art must, in the case of mixed media, have a reason for their existence. If you’re going to use “cotton fabric, cotton” and “yarn” then there should be a reason. But Turk clearly did his homework prior to doing the art on this book. He doesn’t just slap the images together. He incorporates the fibers Gandhi knew so well and turns them into an essential aspect of the book’s art. The art doesn’t just support the text here. It weaves itself into the story, becoming impossible to separate from the story. It’s Arun’s anger that proved to be the most visually interesting aspect, to me, in the book. Turk deftly contrasts the calm white thread produced by Gandhi’s spinning with the tangled black ones that surround and engulf his grandson whenever his feelings threaten to break free. The scene where he’s tempted to throw a rock at the boy who shoved him down is filled with thread, Arun’s magnificently clenched teeth, and black shadow figures that reach out across the field to the soccer net, dwarfing the three other little figures below. Later you can see the negative space found in cut paper turning from a representation of lightning into a thread of cotton in the hands of Gandhi illuminating a passage about making your anger useful. Yet Turk doesn’t just rely on clever techniques. He’s remarkably skilled at faces too. Arun’s expressions when he gets to see his grandfather alone or makes him proud are just filled with wide-eyed eager hope. And his frustrations and anger pulse off the page from his features...

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Grandfather Gandhi Called Caldecott Contender

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 in Illustrations | Comments Off on Grandfather Gandhi Called Caldecott Contender

Elizabeth Bird of SLJ’s Fuse #8 Blog, long a predictor of the beloved Newbery and Caldecott winners, named Grandfather Gandhi one of the four Spring 2014 picture books contenders for the Caldecott! From the Blog Post: “You know what I was chanting to myself as I looked up the information about this one?  I believe it was something along the lines of “Please let Evan Turk live in America.  Please please please let him live in America.”  This is because I desperately wanted him to be eligible for the award.  And guess what?  Not only does he live in the U.S. but he’s a local!  A New York City resident (more info here, in case you’re curious).  We’re already seeing some marvelous picture book biographies and works of nonfiction this year, Turk’s art elevates what was already a pretty cool story.  It’s not just the fact that it’s hugely accomplished.  Turk manages to weave in materials and elements that bring to mind books like When Sophie Gets Angry . . . Really Really Angry (not something you’d usually say about a nonfiction text).  Hugely rewarding to read, this one’s a keeper.  Bear it in mind.” —Elizabeth...

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Grandfather Gandhi Book Trailer

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Book's Journey, Illustrations, Mahatma Gandhi, Outreach | Comments Off on Grandfather Gandhi Book Trailer

In honor of today’s release of Grandfather Gandhi, may we present the book trailer. Illustration & Animation by Evan Turk Music: “Ambwa” used by permission of artist Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami Voices: Arun Gandhi & Bethany Hegedus Sound: Evan Turk, Carrington MacDuffie & The Block House, Justin Yelle & Kaotic Studios, and William Dufris & Mind’s Eye Productions. Project Management: Curious...

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