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KJZZ StoryFest Author 2019
Born in Santa Monica, California in 1952, Scott E. Sutton’s parents realized early on the Scott had a strong purpose to draw and paint.
This desire to draw gave him trouble in his early years of schooling until, in the fourth grade Scott got the idea to use his artwork in conjunction with his school work by creating his school reports and homework assignments as if he were writing and illustrating books, complete with writing, illustrations, title pages and book covers.
This was so well received by the majority of his teachers that in high school he was ask by several of his teachers to illustrate small booklets on such subjects as General Semantics, Science and Chemistry.
Scott also did cartoons and cartoon strips for his high school newspaper and in 1967 Scott sold and had published two cartoons in Surfer Magazine.
In 1969 while in creative writing class the students were assigned to create and write in a daily journal. Scott wrote and illustrated a poem every day. He realized then that he wanted to write and illustrate children’s books and many of the poems that he wrote during this time were later included in his first book “The Family of Ree”.
Scott left home in 1970 and graduated from high school on his own in 1971 while working a part time job.
Because he was on his own he was unable to afford to attend college for more than one semester. He did several small commercial art jobs and some local art shows until in 1971 he went to work for a small publisher. The man in charge of the art department put him to work doing signs booklets and fliers.
As luck would have it Scott’s boss had run an art school in New Zealand for 13 years and was writing a new series of art courses. Scott, along with four other artists were chosen to be the first students to be put through the new courses and over the next 5 years Scott did the courses part time while working full time.
He not only learned the basics art, illustration and design he also learned all aspects of publishing, marketing, sales as well as business and financial management.
In 1978 Scott’s paintings of his whimsical characters were accepted by a prestigious west coast art gallery for exhibition. The relationship with this and several other galleries lasted for over 12 years and resulted in the sale of over 400 paintings and hundreds of limited edition reproductions. Scott still creates original paintings for collectors around the country today and exhibits in the Art-A-Fair fine art show every summer in Laguna Beach, California.
Scott works are done in the tradition of the classic British children’s book illustrators using steel point dip pens and quills and colored with watercolor.
In 1986, while exhibiting in galleries, Scott released the first book in a series of six entitled: “The Family of Ree” which was followed by “Oh No, More Wizard Lessons!”, “The Secret of Gorbee Grotto”, “More altitude, Quick!”, “Look at the Size of that Long - Legged Ploot!”, and “The Legend of Snow Pookas.”
These brightly illustrated stories written in rhyme are about a planet named “Ree” where the trees are alive and talk. When a tree drops an acorn a small round character called a Beebee hatches out of it. The Beebees help out their host tree until one day they grow up to be an Erf. Erfs are Wizard’s assistants and one day the Erf will grow up to be a Wizard. The Wizards, on the planet Ree, take care of all the animals, plants and trees and when the Wizards grow very old they retire and become a talking tree. Each of these stories teaches a different common sense value.
In 1991 Scott released the first in his second series four of books entitled: “The Kuekumber Kids Meet: The Alphabet Alien” which teaches about the alphabet. This book was followed by The Kuekumber Kids Meet: “The Numberasaurus”, “The Sheik of Shapes” and “The Monster of Manners.”
These humorous, colorful stories written in rhyme teach learning basics, such as upper and lower case letters, numbers 1 through 20, two and three dimensional shapes and twenty plus manners as requested by teachers, librarians and parents.
In response to requests by collectors, in 1993, Scott wrote and illustrated a series of chapter books for kids who had out grown of his earlier books. They are entitled “The Adventures of Dinosaur Dog” series which include: “Tyrannosaurus Forest”, “Danger, Dinky Diplodocus”, “Trouble with Pteranodons” and “Death by Deinonychus” as well as the newly released “Great Snoring Stegosaurs”.
These illustrated chapter books are about a boy who has a Chow Chow dog named Dino. One day, for some unknown reason, Dino’s doggie door became the entrance to a time tunnel which leads back to the age of dinosaurs. The boy, Benjamin, and his best friend Lee, form an unofficial science team and, accompanied by Dino, crawl through the doggy door into dangers they cannot even imagine.
In 1987 Scott began to tour elementary schools around the west U. S. teaching kids from Pre-K through the 7th grade How to draw pictures and write stories and to date has spoken to in excess of 400,000 children.
Scott maintains a busy touring schedule, speaking to 10,000 to 18,000 children a year in both schools and libraries. He also does classes for adults and teachers on both how to draw and how to teach children how to draw.
In 2002 Scott released “How to Draw Stuff” which described the simple step by step method of how to draw used by comic book and animators in the past. “How to Draw Stuff” has been on Barnes & Noble local best seller lists several times in the state of Texas.
Scott’s books have sold in excess of 140,000 copies and all of his titles are in multiple editions.
Scott’s current projects include redoing the art and writing for all 6 of the “The Family of Ree “series.
Scott is currently living in Buckeye Arizona with his wife of 37 years, Susie and their 2 Chow Chow dogs Smokey Bear and Lucy Lu.
You can see more about Scott, his books and art at his web site: www.scottesutton.com