Illustrator McDaniels Speaks to Art Students
For artists, inspiration and advice from other artists is crucial, especially when those artists are experts. On January 14th, Author/Illustrator Preston McDaniels was invited to share his wisdom and experience in Mrs. Renate Johansen’s art classes. Mr. McDaniels has illustrated a vast number of children’s books, including The Princess and the Kiss, Cynthia Rylant’s Newberry Award winner Lighthouse Family series, Francis O’Roark Dowell’s From the Highly Scientific Notebooks of Phineas McGuire, and many more. Published in 2007 by Simon and Schuster, McDaniels’ self-penned work A Perfect Snowman has been called “transcendent” and “a charmer of a tale, worthy of being passed from generation to generation,” by the Trades. Born in Story City Iowa, McDaniels grew up struggling with frail health through most of his childhood. However, he was often found drawing and doodling on every surface available throughout the house. Ernest Shepard, Garth Williams, and Maurice Sendak are some of McDaniels’ most inspirational figures, and McDaniels also draws from his childhood influences and experiences.
Having McDaniels come to Nebraska Christian was both an honor and a privilege. He, along with many other artists, inspires art students to persevere with patience and take time to develop God-given gifts and abilities. Art 2 student Gladys Choi (11) stated, “His art made me feel warm and comfortable. I love his style of art. I’ve read a lot of fairy tales, and that style of art used in them is my favorite.” McDaniels’ style of art is definitely one to be remembered. As he passed his pieces around the classroom, each student developed a new understanding of art and style. Encouraged by his humble talent, students are ready to start incorporating what they’ve learned into their own works.