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In this addition of our featured storybook illustrator, I get to have the excitement to introduce :iconwilsonwjr:

Nominated by a fellow storybook-club member, his work is with a quality that is rarely seen. His character drawings have such a wonderful quality of expressive faces, vivid colors and they seem to just jump right out of the pages. He has such an advanced technique that has drawn multiple followers to explore his work.

So take time and learn about :iconwilsonwjr: he has a lot to offer in his experience and background to upcoming children book illustrators! Look at his pieces in the featured section of :iconstorybook-club: and make sure to visit his area on DA! He has so many more pieces to showcase!!


Thank you so much for this honor and opportunity!! I am on my way to realizing my dream of doing Children's Book Illustration full-time and it feels amazing! Thanks again!!

1. Generic information -- Who are you? Where are you from? Tell us about you!!

My name is Wilson Williams, JR. I am a professional Illustrator with my BFA in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design. I am a Florida native born and bred. I haven't traveled much through the country and at 35 years of age have yet to see snow once in my life! (Hope to change that soon, though I have heard it is over-rated!)

My web page is

My blog is

My Deviant Page is

2. When and how did you first become interested in art? How long have you been illustrating?

Strangely it was through strife that I came to love drawing. I am of African American decent and when I was little my Mom only wanted the best for me and my siblings which at the time meant sending me to private schools.

The problem was I was one of if not the only African American child there and none of the other kids would play or socialize with me. Physical confrontations were constant. So instead of playing outside during recess, I would sit inside in the dark and draw, and draw, and draw. I made all my friends and fantasies on paper! I've been drawing ever since!

So I give a heartfelt thanks to those who wished me harm through ignorance, they helped me find one of my passions in life.

3. What or who are your inspirations for your illustrations?

Wow! My inspirations are all over the place! So many artists that I wouldn't know where to begin. So many varied art styles pique my interests. But my biggest inspirations come form fellow artists and peers who are growing and learning along with me. We teach each other and they inspire me every day! Deviant is great fro finding so many un-measurably talented people!

4. If you could re-do any children's or storybook illustration in your own style, what story would you do and why?

Little Black Sambo. It's a story that is misunderstood due largely to the ignorant way the illustrations were initially done. I'd love to popularize an accurate and positive portrayal of the characters in that story. Jerry Pinkney has a beautiful retelling out on the market already. But I'd still love to take a stab at it!

5. What is your favorite medium to do your illustrations in?

Personally, I love watercolors and pastels! But for my profession I opt to work primarily digitally. I still have examples of both in my portfolio on Deviant!

6. What advice would you offer to the other illustrators in this group?

Thank goodness for the internet!! You have so much information at your fingertips and so many resources dedicated solely to Children's Book Publishing.

By the time you're done the librarians and clerks at your local book store should know you on sight. Spend a lot of time at these places researching, reading and finding inspiration from what is already on the market.

Any artists you find online that you like, go to the library and check out all that they have done! Learn from them! Also, write them see if they would be willing to give you some points or tips on improving your portfolio. Most would probably be glad to hear from a fan!

Last but not least, be persistent and believe in yourself. If you want it bad enough and are honest with yourself about what you need to do to improve and work hard at doing so, you will be successful someday!

AND just for fun!

7. What would I find in your refrigerator right now?

LOL! Sugar Free Kool-Aid. Weight Watchers Ice Cream. Sugar Free Pudding-many chocolate varieties. Banana Nut Muffins and Iced Animal Cookies w/the sprinkles.

8. Your must have movie theater candy or snack?

Iced Animal Cookies w/the sprinkles or Pecan Sandies. At the movies, popcorn with tons of that disgusting butter oil stuff!

9. If you could become any childhood cartoon character, who would you like to be?

Storm from the X-Men! LOL! She reminds me of my Mom. She was always a template for me of being a strong, black woman. Not to mention she is BAAADD!! At the very least I would love to have her abilities without the sex change! ;)

10. How would you react if you are transformed into a fish?

Swim as far down as I can to see the vast world yet to be seen by Man. Under the Sea is soo beautiful!!And oh yeah, hope I'm on the East coast of Florida not the West. I'd hate to get trapped in all that oil! ...sigh

11. One of your stuffed animals' names as a kid?

Just one!! LOL! I still have them and I continued to get them all the way till I was a senior in highschool. All gifts from friends and achemm..admirers. LOL!

When I was little my sister gave me one of hers named SugarCane. He was a red and white bear. She gave him to me because up until that point she was scared to sleep by herself and would sleep with me to feel safe. When she finally got brave enough to sleep by herself, she gave him to me so that I wouldn't have to be lonely. Being a good big brother I went along with that reasoning and still have him to this day. His days of sleeping in my bed though are long, long gone! Now my dog tends to do that! LOL!

12. AND lastly, You just got hold of a time machine what will you do?

Go back and tell the young me, to be brave and to love himself. That he matters and if he works hard and believes in himself that everything he wants will be his someday.

I'd also make sure I bring some lotto ticket numbers to my Mom to make sure that my family is taken care of and free of any future financial burdens. Wouldn't you?

Links to featured artwork:

Thanks again so so much! Let me know if you need any other information!

-Wilson Williams

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