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3 Picture Books Worth Reading and Artists Who Created Them

Every day we realize that there is no limit to how you can express yourself as an artist. We discover new ways artists create impactful projects in rare art forms besides traditional painting and sculpting. A picture book is one of such rare forms of art.  

A picture book helps bring words or texts to life through illustrations. The illustrations in these books help drive home the book's point. These illustrations could be digital art or cartoons. 

Picture books are commonly a form of entertainment or learning materials for children. But there are picture books created for adults; these books contain more realistic illustrations instead of cartoons and discuss vital topics. 

These books are special and highly recommended if you have a short attention span or are just like any other present-generation adult who appreciates visuals. Some creators have moved further and found a way to create special value for readers with these books.

Below are some artists that have created adult graphic novels. 

Asma Walton

Asma Walton creates her picture books for quite altruistic purposes. This young art educator's books, made with realistic pictures, set the limelight on black artists that are not talked about enough. She created her project to make it easier for people to learn about black artists and their art. These books are interesting and simple to digest with their realistic pictures. In her efforts to make sure it's not exclusive to just the small group of already existing art lovers, she founded the Black Art Library. The Man Who Built A Library, Tradition, Conflict, and The New Black Vanguard, among others, are some of her books that tell black stories with real pictures.

Adama Delphine Fawundu & Laylah Amatullah Barrayn

A survey of 100 black female photographers, MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, was co-edited by Fawundu and Barrayn in 2018 and acted as both a resource and a statement. Black photographers, who historically have had limited access to publishing monographs, are also highlighted in their collections.

According to Barrayn, "Black photographers have not been published at the same rate as White photographers, so it is vital to me to make sure that I have photo books by Black photographers, specifically Black women photographers." 

After seeing Gordon Park's lecture in 1997, Fawundu started her collection. She obtained his autograph after purchasing his 1997 book Half Past Autumn: A Retrospective. It wasn't her first significant interaction with a photo book.

The Notion of Family (2014) by LaToya Ruby Fraizer and African Game by Andrew Dosunmu, a love letter to soccer and modern African culture, are among Fawundu's other favorites (2006). Back in the Days by Jamel Shabazz (2001) and Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style by Shantrelle Lewis (2017) are two books that both photographers cite as their favorites.

Marvel by Marvel Harris

"When I was young, I didn't know I had autism. "Like most teenagers, I just wanted to feel accepted," writes Marvel Harris in the artist's statement that comes with their first photobook, Marvel, which won the Mack First Book Award 2021. "

Harris recognized that photography allowed them to convey and articulate sentiments and events that words could not. Marvel assembles genuine and honest photographs depicting their struggles with mental illness, self-love, and gender identity. It reflects Harris' experiences as an autistic, non-binary, transgender person, with a sequence of expressive black-and-white self-portraits revealing physical and emotional transformations. Harris is seen crying and laughing, celebrating and struggling. "By sharing my experiences, I wish to contribute to increased awareness of gender identity issues and to engage in a more inclusive and understanding world," they add.

Picture books are unique in their simplicity. They offer so much value, especially to non-readers. You can gain so much information in half the time you spend reading a book.



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