"I am a storyteller at heart. So each project begins with the question, 'Is this story worth telling? Is the manuscript an interesting read? Is it surprising and challenging? Will I, in the process of making pictures, learn something new?'
"When these questions are answered, I then open up to letting the text speak to me. My work is text inspired. Therefore the style in which a story is written (its language) will offer clues and give a direction. The drawings always begin in the same way. Thumbnail sketches are followed by large, more detailed developmental drawings. When I am working for children, I aim for clarity with a direct correlation between text and art, than my drawings for older audiences. I think there is no separation between the way an artist works for children and the way the artist sees the world. It is not work taken down or up a step. Imagination influences the way you see the world… I illustrate stories, not as I imagine a child sees them, but how I see them. My wish is that all ages will be able to find something, in some way, that touches them.
"I have illustrated over a hundred children’s books. The most favorite is always the work in progress on the drawing board, because my strongest feelings about a particular book are tied to the experience of creating it. I love the act of making marks on paper, and seeing those marks develop into a picture. My intent and hope is to lead the viewer into a world that only exists because of that picture. Many of these speak to my culture, while other works are based on my experience of being Black in America." Jerry Pinkney
Here are a few of Jerry's many books: