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Every now and then, a new artist sneaks onto the children’s literary stage and dazzles us with such unbridled talent, that we’re left standing on our tippy-toes begging for an encore. Ladd made his debut illustrating the book published.

The excitement in his eyes sparkled as he recalled the day he gathered up his family and headed for the book store to take pictures.

When he’s not illustrating, you’ll find him teaching art at the Kuumba Project, an after school program that introduces visual and performing arts to inner city kids.

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London: Andrea Davis Pinkney hired me after a mutual acquaintance of ours referred her to my website.

She liked my work and thought it would be perfect for this project.

How did you become interested in illustrating for children?

London: I wanted to bring words to life for children with my artwork.

My first love was comic books, especially graphic novels.

I loved the imagery and storytelling that came across in these books.

What kind of training have you received to prepare for your career as an artist?

London: I graduated at Syracuse University where I received my degree in illustration.

I was lucky enough to study with great illustrators like James Ransome, Bob Dacey, Yvonne Buchanan, John Thompson and Roger De Muth who taught various aspects of not only illustration but design and painting. London: That’s a great question, I think my mission is to tell a story with beautiful vivid illustrations that children will enjoy. London: Acrylic paint on Bristol board because it doesn’t rip, buckle or bend, when I’m painting on it. The Earthbound recycled paper is the best at handling thin washes and/or heavy opaque layers.

Tell us about your process of illustrating a children’s book.

London: After I except the project I read the manuscript over and over so I can understand what’s being said by the author.

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