Raleigh Artist Celebrates North Carolina With Children’s Book
Interview originally published on May 11, 2014 by Greg Trombley for Candid Slice.
Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be. – Shel Silverstein
It can be difficult to find a passion. Some find it early and stick with it despite the mustn’ts, don’ts, shouldn’ts, impossibles, and won’ts.
Amy Richards is a local artist who studied well-known children’s book authors like Shel Silverstien, and today has her own coloring book available to purchase: The ABC’s Of NC.
“I have always loved the simple black and white line drawings and stories of Shel Silverstein. I am also inspired by the interesting perspective author and artist Lois Ehlert creates with her collage illustration.”
Those inspirations have served Richards well. The idea for a children’s book about North Carolina came from her experiences designing lesson plans for Cary preschoolers. Richards noticed that it was hard to find the right images and designed her own. From there, it was a short jump to a wonderful idea.
“I think it is important for children to have an educational alternative to the coloring books available in stores. This book provides a great opportunity for kids to learn about some of the people, places, and things that make North Carolina unique.”
North Carolina residents agree. To fund her book, Richards asked for help by setting up a kickstarter. By October 3rd, 83 backers donated over $2600, nearly double her original goal. Richards is happy with her results, and continues to seek out new avenues for The ABC’s of NC while working on her next projects.
“The book has received an overwhelmingly positive response. It is currently sold locally but I continue to seek out more retail opportunities throughout the state.”
Richards has a show coming up Friday, June 6th at the Blake Street Shops and Studios in downtown Raleigh. While there, she will be showing off her embroidery skills with a series dedicated to wedding culture, called Sew In Love. You can find The ABC’s Of NC at Quail Ridge Books, The Marbles Children’s Museum, or you can buy it directly from her Etsy.
A small sample of Amy’s portfolio