“I write for what's left of the eight-year-old still rattling around inside my head.” Chris Van Allsburg
Photo Credit: HMH Books - Chris Van Allsburg Official
When Chris Van Allsburg was a child, he never exhibited much artistic interest. Born on June 18th, 1949, Chris and his older sister Karen, grew up in a picturesque neighborhood in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His father ran the family-owned creamery making butter, cheese, ice cream and more. During his childhood he enjoyed exploring streams and open spaces and lived in a quaint neighborhood which he would later draw inspiration from.
During school, Chris didn’t take any art classes, yet upon a college admissions interview his senior year of high school, he chose to major in Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan. Giving the admissions counselor a made up story of his advanced art abilities, he was admitted to the program on the spot and later found out that his rouse would not hold up for long. It was in the sculpting classes that he took that Chris really excelled and was able to develop a real talent. Chris majored in sculpture at the university and graduated in 1972. He then went to graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) to continue his education in sculpture. Chris became a successful sculptor and began drawing as a hobby. His wife, Lisa, introduced the idea of becoming a children’s book illustrator when she connected him with another illustrator. From there he wrote and illustrated 18 books and has illustrated many works, both published and unpublished. His style of illustration is complex and meticulous and adds a depth to the text within the book.
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