Josh Gibson on deck- From "We Are the Ship"
by Kadir Nelson
On Friday, I attended the BYU Symposium on Books for Young Readers. I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Kadir Nelson for a while. He gave a terrific presentation where he showed his work and described his outlook on art and life. Kadir, like most of us artists says that he has been drawing for as long as he can remember. He studied at Pratt Institute and has enjoyed a very succesful career. Coming right out of the box he worked on Dreamworks films "Amistad" and the animated "Spirit" doing concept art. He said that this prepared him well for the 20 plus children's books he has illustrated since. One thing he said that really impressed me was that he tries to turn something negative into something beautiful. He said someone once told him that "beauty denies negativity".It reminded me of my own philosphy that I try to make the world a more beautiful place because "life needs art".
The Next Five - by Kadir Nelson
I have always been impressed with the design and the emotion that he embues in his work. I especially like the way he creates power and heroic stature in figures though his stylized elongation of the human form. His large scale oil paintings are beauty to behold. Many of the paintings for "We Are the Ship" are over five feet wide, including the one seen below.
Low and Away - by Kadir Nelson
It was really fun to meet him and have him sign a couple of books for me, including "We Are the Ship", a book he spent seven years writing and illustrating.
We Are the Ship has won several awards
It chronicles the story of the Negro Baseball League and contains over 40 of Kadir's stunning paintings. I would love to post a picture of the two of us together, but I forgot my camera - Dang! See more of Kadir's work here.