Burrowes, Writer and Illustrator
not an easy path. You really have to love it."
words plus vivid images. That's the basic formula for a picture
book. Typically, one person supplies one half of that equation and
somebody else provides the other. But in the case of Adjoa Burrowes,
she is the talent that does both. Although an author, Burrowes defines
herself as an artist first. "That's been my destiny. Art found
me. It steered me."
talent was evident from an early age. "In grammar school, my
brother and I won just about every art award there was in the school,"
she recalled of her grade school days in Chicago. "It got to
the point that the other kids didn't even want to enter a contest
with those Jackson kids."
followed her artist's journey by attending Lane Technical High School
in Chicago where a teen could major in art, then Howard University
where she got a degree in fine arts and printmaking. Now, she's
a senior graphic artist at the northern Virginia campus of Georgetown
University. Burrowes' entree into children's literature came while
working as a graphic designer in California. She was a freelancer
for an educational publisher. One day while reviewing Burrowes'
art portfolio, the art director said, "Girl, you really need
to be doing childrenís books." This pragmatic mother of three
responded by saying, "Do you have any work for me?"
"As a matter of fact, yes," replied the director who hired
Burrowes to create some educational posters. Since then, Burrowes
has illustrated over a dozen picture books. A few of the most recent
ones include: My Steps, published
in 1996, and in 2000, Grandma's Purple
Flowers and Everybody Wears
Braids, two books which she both wrote and illustrated.
See more of Adjoa Burrowes' art work by clicking on absolutearts.com/portfolios/a/adjoa.
like her interest in art, Burrowes' interest in words started young,
too. "I started writing in grammar school after my mother passed
away," she explained. Composing picture books has become a
way for her to combine both creative passions.
"Things just flowed," she said of her successes in the
competitive art world. Unlike so many would-be artists, she said,
"I never thought art impractical." However, she does allow
that although practicing one's art is not impractical or impossible,
that does not mean it isn't challenging. "Keep pursuing your
dreams and ideas. It's not an easy path," she admonished. "You
really have to love it."