The success of KDL's Coaster Art Contest is directly related to the talented artists who submitted coaster designs. You never know who will enter, so we were beyond pleased when we saw the entry from experienced children's book illustrator, Lori Eslick. Lori's coaster design will be available at Pike 51 Brewing Co. in Hudsonville and Railtown Brewing Co. in Dutton.
What can you tell us about yourself?
I love to illustrate/paint, most often I illustrate stories, whether children's books or wildlife periodicals for all ages. To show children good art, and they will begin to recognize in my joy of painting, perhaps that joy will translate.
My art has received many awards such as: The 1999 Parents Choice silver award, for the book, DA WEI’S TREASURE, by Raymond and Margaret Chang, the Magazine Best Illustration award of the year in 1995 & 2012 from SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and subsequent 4 honors in subsequent years.
Most recently I received 1st prize from the 2022 Michigan Watercolor Society's 75th Annual Exhibition, currently in the MWS travel exhibit.
Please do look for my Art Prize entry too, it is titled: Lost Lake, hosted at Sweet Yo's, 134 Monroe Center.
What’s the story behind your art submission?
I loved taking my two nieces to the Ruff Readers when the read to a trained Dog at our local (right down the street!) Library. And I also brought my camera, as it was too cute to not photograph!!! My art was featured at ART Prize. It is in a private collection. I've written a story about this painting. Usually it is a story first (picture books) but for me: a picture first, and now it's story.
What’s the finest beverage that could sit on your coaster?
A carbonated beverage... or a mocktail, with a cherry, as I love a bubbly drink!
Tell us what the library means to you.
We as a family support literacy in several ways, such as through books I've illustrated and teaching reading to others! My husband teaches reading, and I illustrated a special story/picture book titled: READ FOR ME, MAMA, where Mama confesses that she doesn't know how to read, and her son needs someone to read for him. The emotions of READ FOR ME, MAMA inspired me to get more involved in volunteering at schools and libraries to help people who struggle as readers. In addition to books and magazines libraries have become a community hub, as they host my watercolor workshops. Libraries support so many needs in our communities in addition to having a collection of the picture books I've illustrated! I love the wonderful people who work at libraries they have such a heart for their communities, I know as I have been all over our state at various libraries!
Many a heartwarming story has unfolded in front of me at the Watercolor workshops I conduct, such as a moment returning to Allegan Public Library, and a patron who has attended the workshop I conducted there last year reminded me of something I'd said last year, she said, "I remember you telling us to find our 'favorite inch' in the painting, and as a pain patient, I apply this to my life, as I find what is my favorite inch in my day".
You can check out more of Lori's artwork and books on her website: EslickART.com