An Author’s Inspirations

Elementary classes from the Francis Howell, Clayton and Ladue School districts will connect for a one hour videoconference with author/illustrator Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw next week. The Virtual Learning Center is really excited to bring this St. Louis native into St. Louis schools. Jenny Sue will be talking with the students about her new picture book, My Travelin’ Eye – ‘ Jenny Sue’s eyes are different from other people’s eyes. Her right eye looks in one direction, while her left eye sometimes wanders. Jenny Sue has a travelin,’ lazy eye. Although it makes her different, it also helps her see the world in a special way. Here is a charming story about one very inspiring little girl.’ (see Author Visit on May 9, 2008

Now, here’s a bit about the author, by the author! 

 THE LITTLE YEARS. When I was little, I would sit in a box and draw pictures. Eventually, my studio expanded to my closet where I made up characters and neatly archived them in blue binders (including hundreds of made-up Smurfs). I would sit on the green shag carpet under hanging clothes with my older sister Renee sitting in her office on the far other end of the long, skinny closet. She wrote poems and said I could be her illustrator. My oldest brother Freddy and his friend Kevin Brimmer drew a lot, and I thought they were the coolest. I decided then that I’d always be an artist. When I was 8, I won my first art contest with a drawing of Santa Claus. I still remember the phone call—it was the first time I ever remember crying because I was happy…I find a lot of inspiration for my art and stories from my life: traveling+adventures, family+friends, my dog other pets, and memories.

 7 things I remember from my little years on Chatfield Drive, St. Louis, MO… 

1. The above mentioned box/my first art studio.
2. I had a Papa Smurf Doll that I LOVED. I remember giving him hundreds of beard trimmings til he had a charming five o’clock shadow and snowed tiny white beads
3. My dad had this awesome, huge swivel chair in his downstairs office, and my friend Tisa and I would take turns spinning each other til we had out of body experiences running upside down on the checkerboard ceiling.
4. My stylish green pants with the Polish embroidery and vertical ribbed lines.
5. My FAVORITE shirt: The Incredible Hulk.
6. Fighty + Gertrude, the 2 crawfish my sister Renee & I rescued from the live-well in my Dad’s bass boat in the garage. We kept them in a sherbert container and let them play on our driveway.
And 7. My thick glasses with the super springy frames sporting Bugs Bunny on the side.

Thanks for sharing and illustrating, Jenny Sue! Looking forward to next week!

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