Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tim Bowers Illustrator Interview

Photo Content from Tim Bowers

Tim Bowers is a children's book illustrator with over 30 published children's books, including The New York Times bestsellers, Dream Big, Little Pig! written by Kristi Yamaguchi and Dinosaur Pet by Neil Sedaka and Marc Sedaka. His children's book illustrations have received numerous state and national awards and recognition, including Child Magazine's Top Pick, the Children's Choice Award and Junior Library Guild selections.

Bowers began his career at a Dayton, Ohio advertising art studio, producing images for clients such as Wendy's, Huffy bicycles, Kenner Toys and Procter & Gamble. He was then recruited by Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and began a five year employment with that company, eventually becoming an original member of the Shoebox Greetings division of Hallmark. Since moving back to Ohio, Bowers has illustrated books for many of America's favorite children's book authors. Every year, Tim Bowers travels to schools and libraries to promote literacy and share his experiences as an author and artist who tells stories with pictures. Bowers is represented by East West Literary Agency.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
I struggled to focus on classroom lessons but had an early interested in art. Some of my teachers noticed that connection and integrated art into the assignments, whenever possible. When I wrote a book report, I could also include a drawing of the book cover or story illustration. My daily journal writing could include my written thoughts and drawings. If I could illustrate the content, I had more interest in studying the assignment. I’m grateful to the (Troy, Ohio) teachers who allowed me to use my artwork to enhance my academic weaknesses.

Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be an illustrator.
Since childhood, I’ve enjoyed creating artwork. Early thoughts were to be a veterinarian and care for animals. In high school, I started thinking of college and a likely career. My weak academic performance helped me turn my attention to becoming a professional illustrator. I also realized that I would avoid many of those difficult academic classes by enrolling in an art college. BINGO! I still love animals and use them in my artwork, all the time.

Art: Behind the Scenes
- I usually don’t work directly with the author but Kenny called and had a few additional ideas for the artwork. The adjustments really added to the flow of the story. If the music thing doesn’t work out, Kenny could be a great art director.

- To start each painting for this book, I brushed thick white paint (gesso) onto Bristol board to create a lot of texture. The illustrations were then painted on that texture. The gesso brush strokes under the colored layer of paint is the texture you see in the final image.

- A picture book is a sequence of images. This story starts just before dark as everyone is leaving the zoo. As the story progresses, the sky becomes darker and the moon is more visible. The last page shows the moon and a rising sun, suggesting the start of another day. This is all planned before the final art is painted and it’s part of the story telling.

- I take all notes and suggestions from the publisher and author into consideration. There were notes as to the kind of animals for the main characters and overall story progression. One comment was about the zoo keeper, “Jack”. Captain Kangaroo was mentioned as a character type. I grew up, watching Captain Kangaroo and was glad to fashion the zoo keeper after the good Captain.

- I usually listen to music while painting. For this book, I constantly played the new version of Footloose and another fantastic collection of songs, Return to Pooh Corner. Kenny Loggins can write songs that get you onto the dance floor and soothing songs that melt your heart. I listened to them, all.

-I like to work at night. The world seems to slow down and become more quiet. It’s easier to focus on painting. I get more accomplished when most people are sleeping.

-Besides art, music is my favorite interest. Working with Kenny Loggins allowed me to create a bridge between my interest in music and my artwork. It doesn’t get any better than that.

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?
After my freshman year of art college, I teamed up with another student to custom paint cars and vans. Painting the air-brushed murals was good practice and some of our artwork was photographed and featured in Truck and Van magazine. It was great experience but not much money so we finished the summer, working for a roofing company. Lesson: There is a limited market for van murals but everybody needs a roof.

What is your greatest adventure?
My high school buddy had his pilot’s license and access to a small plane so we made a few memorable flights, including a water skiing trip to Wisconsin and flying to El Paso, renting a car and driving into Juarez, Mexico. Quite an eye opening experience for a couple of high schoolers. Would I allow my kids (now adults) to make the same trip when they were in high school. Absolutely not!

Have a rockin' time introducing children to Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins himself. Features a bonus CD with the new children's "Footloose," performed by Kenny Loggins.

Time to cut loose! Have a rockin' time introducing children to the fun of Footloose, rewritten for children by the one and only Kenny Loggins. As a zookeeper named Jack joins the zoo animals in an all-night dance party, this new original story from Loggins is sure to get your feet moving. Little ones will love the cast of characters, including the rockin' chimp Louise ("Geez, Louise"), Mister DJ Elephant, the lemur Marie ("Oo Wee, Marie"), Milo the wombat, Luke the funkiest cat in the zoo, and so many more rocking, bopping, boogeying, tangoing, shaking, rattling and rolling animals!

To add to the fun, the book includes a CD with new recordings by Kenny Loggins. Kids and parents can sing along to the classic hit with new lyrics, as well as a three-song medley families will love.

You can purchase Footloose at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TIM BOWERS for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Copy of FOOTLOOSE by Kenny Loggins and Tim Bowers.


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