Picture books have always excited me though, I love puzzling out the pacing and the story telling and I love being able to slowly expand upon ideas over the course of 32 (or however many) pages.” “In the studio with Matt James.” Groundwoodbooks.com.
This painter, illustrator and musician won the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Illustration, Children’s Literature (English) for The Northwest Passage, lyrics by Stan Rogers.
In his development as an artist he had two significant experiences. When he was old enough to be in grade 4 or 5, he took a YMCA course in Woodstock by an instructor who “ very much impressed” young Matt. The instructor was an aspiring cartoonist trying to break into the field and his work ethic and the quality of his output left “left me awestruck”.
Matt’s second experience was in high school where the art department was well equipped but more important staffed by instructors who had been practicing commercial artists in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
At the time of the interview (2018) Matt occupied a studio with two other artists in the Parkdale district of Toronto. Of it he had to say:
‘The studio is pretty scrappy and doesn’t really offer a tonne of space, but it is a bit of a miracle that we have a place where we can create music and art affordably in the city and we thank our lucky stars daily.” “In the studio with Matt James.” Groundwoodbooks.com.
Talking about the studio’s location in Parkdale:
“… but it is a window into/onto Parkdale with its funky Parkdale sights, sounds and smells a bit of a feast for the senses around here.” “In the studio with Matt James.” Groundwoodbooks.com.
BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC:
Content story & Cover, dust jacket:
When The Moon Comes. Writ., Paul Harbridge. Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada, 2017.,
“In the studio with Matt James.” Groundwoodbooks.com. An interview Aug 2018. Accessed 20 Jan. 2020.