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You Know You’re Getting Old When…

February 3, 2012

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of amazing experiences come to pass in my life as a result of my career in illustration. One that I suppose I wasn’t expecting until much later was a book about me. However, I was pleasantly surprised last year when Abdo Publishing Company, an educational publisher, added me to their ongoing Children’s Illustrator series which includes the likes of Chris Van Allsburg, Garth Williams and Brian Selznick.

This book is aimed for elementary school libraries. The reading is fairly easy (suggested levels are grades 3-6) with the main focus being on how I came to be an illustrator, along with some career highlights.

I never thought myself worthy of having a book written about my life, which is why I’ve yet to do an “Art of Tony D” book. Besides, I am always looking forward to my next project, with that feeling that I am on the verge of the next big artistic breakthrough…though looking back, I realize I have accomplished a few things here and there. You don’t really realize it as you are experiencing it, only in hindsight does it become a bit more clear.

I like this series of books. Not because I am the subject for one, but because they focus on illustrators (both past and present) who have had an impact on children’s publishing. 10 year-old Tony would have LOVED this series.


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Never Abandon Imagination Tony DiTerlizzi: Never abandon imagination.

Imagination is a world of possibility that exists within each of us. It is what makes us uniquely human. It is our creative fingerprint that touches and influences the world around us. Imagination is essential to art and science; to innovation and prosperity. It gives us hope, calls us to action and leads to change.

Whether it’s fairies, dragons, robots or aliens, all of my children’s book characters are siblings born of my imagination – an imagination strengthened through years of encouragement from family, teachers and friends. While so many others abandoned it during their transition from childhood to adulthood, I fiercely held onto mine, hoping for a day when I could share it to inspire the next generation of dreamers. Innovators. World changers.

Imagination empowers us to envision and create a reality of what could be. We must hold it dear, foster it and never abandon it.