Oliver Jeffers is an award-winning artist, illustrator, storyteller, picture book maker and all-around captivating person.
Though I have known of him for years through his books, I didn’t meet him in person until the coldest day of January, when he invited the Imagista team into his Brooklyn studio for an afternoon of conversation, photography and filming of a short documentary. The young artist talked about his work, his journey to children’s books and how he finds his stories. Spoiler: He doesn’t. They find him.
Upon meeting Oliver, one notices a certain gentleness about the man that’s accompanied by a wicked intelligence and wit. He’s easy company, and you get the feeling that you could sit and listen to that Irish brogue talk at length about the new ideas and projects he has kicking around inside a restless brain. His voice sparkles with possibility and enthusiasm, and his eyes are curious, alert, and alive with wonder.
His studio, like his work, is full of charm—antiques and oddities with his childlike handwriting labeling order to the chaos with crayon and chalk.
I walked away from the encounter feeling a bit like I’d stood next to a fire for a few hours. His art, his stories, his studio, and his very presence, crackling with energy.