Renovation is the 1898 Day Bros. building‘s only hope to withstand another century. Can you help me because your illustration purchase directly fixes the historic building?
When I was four years old, barefoot and shirtless, I clenched the sides of my radio flyer wagon not knowing what lay ahead of me. Summer’s midday sun baked the asphalt beneath my wagon and Momma’s bare feet. She patiently tugged the noisy wagon up Highway 109 toward an odd truck parked outside Trotter’s Country Store. Momma propped me on her hip, then carried me into the boxy vehicle she called a bookmobile. Standing inside, a librarian joyfully greeted me asking, “What’s your favorite book little man?”
My favorite book would have started like a Disney movie—magical. At four, I couldn’t conceive how words and drawings would eventually impact my rural community of 2,500 people. Since that memorable day, I’ve illustrated over sixty picture books, meet over one million students as a public speaker, and inspired all ages to chase their publishing dream. In 2015, I relocated my company’s book warehouse to the 1898 Day Bros. building, one of the last historic structures from Dawson Springs, Kentucky’s establishment.
The building is perfect for storage, but it could be much more with your help. The renovation of the 1898 Day Bros. building can be achieved through 1,898 sponsorships. Each illustration purchase receives a signed original children’s book illustrations from my private collection of sixty published children’s books.
Your purchase is important to help save the historic 1898 Day Bros. building in need of care and attention. Most of all your support fosters the much-needed inspiration that the littlest person’s words and drawings can affect the world. Please join me in opening another century of new chapters in the 1898 Day Bros. building’s story.
We thank the current supporters for their recent purchases.
“Words and drawings affect a reader’s world!”
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Faktorovich: You also served as a Readers’ Favorite Illustration Awards judge. How did you win this job? Did somebody else nominate you or did you nominate yourself? You won several awards from this group, so did they automatically nominate you to judge when you hit a certain number of award wins? Beyond what appears on the official rules for contests, what practically makes a difference between illustrations that win an award and those that don’t? Is there an obvious difference between the winners and losers? And if so, what are the most common mistakes made by the losers?
Adams: I met the Readers’ Favorite founder, Debra Gaynor, several times in Miami, Atlanta, Nashville and Frankfort. She solicited me like every author who had a quality book that would grow the now international Reader’s Favorite Awards and Review program. Jilli, That’s Silly! written by Christa Carpenter, received a gold medal and I planned to attend the ceremony in Miami. Debra also invited me to present on the Value of Illustration during the Readers’ Favorite two night annual awards ceremony. While at breakfast, I sketched in my current Best Sketchbook. James Ventrillo, current CEO of Readers’ Favorite, introduced himself and began an impromptu interview for the Reader’s Favorite Illustration Awards judge position.
The awards won through their organization did not automatically make me judge. Professional experience earned the position. Several hundred books in various genres are submitted each year. Judging occurs throughout the year based on: character development, storytelling, cover design, layout, etc. Once a book is scored, the score is final. Until the scoring is complete, who the winner is remains a surprise for them and me.
We’ve all seen books that are obvious winners and losers. I judge on the criteria specifically. Common mistakes made are strong illustrations and a weak graphic design. Cover design is 10 points. If the cover design scores low, great illustrations may not win. Another common mistake is inexperience. The art must relay the story to a non-reader.
My biggest reward in participating as the Readers’ Favorite Illustration Awards Judge is hearing a winner say, “I didn’t think I was that good,” or “There are more talented artists than me.” Receiving feedback from your peers is important!
Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning Illustrator with Anna Faktorovich, PhD
Christopher Epling (Professional Illustrator, Pikeville, KY) Christopher is an award-winning illustrator and one of MWA, Inc. affiliated illustrators. He works in a variety of mediums. Mainly colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink, and digital are his preference. Be sure to look over all parts of his website to see examples of his work. Should there be a particular style you prefer, but can’t find on his website, contact him. He is happy to send reference pieces via email. Christopher has visited over 150 schools conducting various workshops and presentations. Some schools hire him to work with groups like the gifted and talented students, art students, writing, etc. His visits range from day visits to week long residencies. If you are Interested in scheduling a workshop, please contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Authors and publishers who work with Christopher enjoy his connection with readers. Hiring him is like having a second marketing team. Christopher’s illustrated books:
“Mark’s professionalism and approach to the complete publishing experience has taught me so much about my responsibilities as an illustrator. I simply wouldn’t suggest placing your confidence anywhere else.” —Christopher