The Art of ‘The Storyteller’

The Art of ‘The Storyteller’: Behind the Scenes, Part 2

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in The Art of 'The Storyteller', The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 4 comments

So, you would like to hear the story of how

THE STORYTELLER became a book?

Ah yes, well, not so long ago…

After I figured out the story I wanted to tell, I created a pagination of small thumbnails to decide how I wanted to tell that story in pictures.


This helps figure out what images and symbols are important and how to emphasize them throughout the story. Even in the early thumbnails, you can see that the water/bird/yarn/stories were all blue and stood out against the rest of the palette.


Along with the pagination, I did many small thumbnail sketches to figure out how the final art and characters might look.


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The People of Morocco in ‘The Storyteller’

Posted by on Aug 20, 2016 in Diversity and Representation, Morocco, The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 0 comments


Morocco is a country with a long history, and traditions, like storytelling and carpet weaving, that extend back a thousand years. But it is also a modern country in today’s world. As in most countries, the traditional and the new exist simultaneously.

The central story in The Storyteller, ‘The Sandstorm and The Storyteller’, about a boy inheriting and using the wisdom of a master storyteller, takes place in modern times. The reader is introduced to the boy in the “Great Square” based loosely on the Jamaa EL Fna square in the old medina of Marrakech in the illustration above. In this one illustration, readers can notice many different aspects of the modern mixing with the traditional.

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7 Impossible Things Interview with Evan Turk

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Symbolism, The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 0 comments


Julie Danielson at “7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast” interviewed The Storyteller creator Evan Turk about the creation of The Storyteller, upcoming projects, making a picture book, and much more! Take a look to see sketches, thumbnails, and even some ceramics!

7 Impossible Things Interview with Evan Turk

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‘The Storyteller’ in Photos – Publisher’s Weekly

Posted by on Jun 18, 2016 in Reviews, The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 0 comments


Publisher’s Weekly’s “Children’s Bookshelf” recently did a feature photo essay on the creation of ‘The Storyteller’! I talked with them about the inspiration, my trips to Morocco, where I learned some of the techniques, and how the story began! Thank you so much to Natasha Gilmore at PW for reaching out.


You can check out a link to see it all below:

Evan Turk’s ‘The Storyteller’ In Photos

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The weaver as Storyteller

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Diversity and Representation, Morocco, Symbolism, The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 0 comments

In October 2014 I took a trip to Morocco to do research for The Storyteller. One of my favorite experiences was spending a day in the village of Anzal in southern Morocco and meeting the women carpet weavers there and their family. These drawings (aside from the illustrations from the book at the end) were done on-location in Anzal and the nearby Oasis de Fint.



I arrived at the village of Anzal and met, Naoual, a twenty two year old woman from the village who translated for me and told me about her village and the weaving association. The village is nestled in a valley between harsh, dry mountains. The landscape is both empty and calming. The ground and sky seem to extend in all directions for eternity. It is said that the top crossbar of a loom is often called “the beam of heaven” and the bottom bar, “the earth”, with everything between as “creation.”

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The Art of ‘The Storyteller’: Behind the Scenes, Part 1

Posted by on Apr 8, 2016 in Morocco, Symbolism, The Art of 'The Storyteller' | 0 comments

The process for creating ‘The Storyteller’ began in August of 2012 while at an illustration/drawing workshop with Dalvero Academy, an independent school of continuing studies in art and illustration that I have been a part of for many years. As part of a semi-annual trip with the school to DisneyWorld, one of our rigorous days was in EPCOT where I focused on the Morocco pavillion. The pavilions at EPCOT are more than just culturally inspired attractions, they are created by the governments of the countries represented as a synthesis of culture and craft to display their country to the world. Because of that, they are great places to begin learning about a culture.


Visual notes from EPCOT Morocco

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