Home Art & Culture How Jessie Sima’s 8th Grade Sketches Lead to a Career

How Jessie Sima’s 8th Grade Sketches Lead to a Career

by YAR

Imagine you’re an eighth grader in Woodbury, NJ, a little bored, a little anxious, drawing horses in your notebook while a teacher sings, “Peanuts” style, at the front of the classroom. Suddenly, the boy in front of you turns around and says, “Someday you’re going to make children’s books.” You may think you’re too good for the job, but the prediction sticks with you and somehow comes true. You now have two picture books on the bestseller list.

Welcome to the career path of Jessie Sima, a writer and illustrator who uses the pronouns they/they, who in a phone interview was both pleased and humbled by the success of “Perfectly Pegasus” and “Not Quite Narwhal.” Her companion stories take young readers to the worlds of Kelp, a unicorn who doesn’t fit in with his narwhal siblings, and Nimbus, a pegasus who sits alone among the clouds and stars. The pastel-colored creatures come from opposite parts of the planet (the sea and the sky) and have different distinguishing features: Kelp, a striped horn, Nimbus, feathered wings, but both have equine bodies.

“I have always liked the challenge with horses,” said Sima. “They have so many weird joints.” Sima never went to art school, but spent a lot of time poring over animal anatomy books, perfecting a realistic steed: “I’m someone who thinks there’s a benefit in learning how to do a fairly technical and realistic drawing of an animal. So even though Kelp and Nimbus have little tapered legs that can move, I’m thinking about the anatomy of the horse when trying to figure out how they gallop.”

Sima has written and illustrated five other picture books and collaborated with Christian Trimmer on “Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies.” These days, they live in New York and are no longer in contact with the prophetic classmate. Sima doesn’t spend much time with horses in real life; the author is terribly allergic. They now draw on a Wacom tablet, which “uses digital brushes intended to replicate certain types of traditional media, such as watercolors or ink brushes.” But when they ponder a new project, or just draw for fun, they still choose an old black and white marbled notebook, the kind that brought peace, promise and escape at age 14.

Sima said, “Nothing I can do in this book is going to be good enough to show anyone. He doesn’t really feel intimidating; it’s just for me, scribbling, writing and capturing my ideas”.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

The Float