From a very young age, Brian Pinkney loved to draw and paint. Using old brushes and scraps of paper, he tried to replicate his father’s watercolor art. Brian painted in a large closet that his mother had converted into a child-sized art studio. His passion for drawing and painting eventually led him to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. While earning a master’s degree in Illustration, Brian discovered scratchboard – a lesser-used medium that actually scratches designs into an inked board. His scratchboard art has since won two Caldecott Honor Medals and two Coretta Scott King Awards. Brian illustrates his own stories and those of other authors. He most often collaborates with his wife, author Andrea Davis Pinkney.
The organizers of the 2002 National Book Festival in Washington, DC invited six members of the Pinkney family to speak and sign books. Reading Rockets’ David Meissner interviewed Jerry, Brain, and Myles Pinkney at the festival. To watch video clips, read interview transcripts, or learn more about this multi-talented family, click on the links below.
About Brian Pinkney
Like his father, Jerry, Brian began illustrating children’s books in watercolor. But once he discovered scratchboard, it soon became his signature medium. Brian has now illustrated over two-dozen books, including his wife Andrea’s Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and His Orchestra, which received a Caldecott Honor in 1999.
Although Jerry, Brian, and Myles live in different parts of New York State, they encourage each other and even collaborate on projects. Together they co-illustrated Gloria Jean Pinkney’s 2001 book, In the Forest of Your Remembrance. All three illustrate books that their wives write. So whether it is Jerry and Gloria Jean, Brian and Andrea, or Myles and Sandra, the Pinkney name is well known and easy to find on library shelves.